Ejections for “egregious” hits now a point of emphasis for officials


The NFL didn’t need a vote of the owners to make one significant change this week, as certain dangerous hits on the field can now be cause for ejections.

The Competition Committee recommendation that ejections or suspensions be implemented for certain illegal hits will be added as a point of emphasis this year, meaning it didn’t require a vote from owners to become part of the landscape.

Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay said he didn’t think the measure was a sign the league had a huge problem, but that there were examples of three or four “egregious” hits last year that needed harsher punishment, since fines weren’t making them go away.

“We don’t typically get ejections for football plays during a game, we get ejections for other reasons but not football plays — we recommend suspension even for a first-time offense,” McKay said. “Why? Because the hits were very egregious, to be quite frank.

“We quite frankly just want to get any of those hits out of the game. We think one way to get them out of the game is suspension because we think that is the ultimate deterrent to all players to not have those type of plays occur. We didn’t have very many of them. We don’t expect it to happen a lot. But it was a point of emphasis and it will be looked at this year.”

Eagles punt returner Darren Sproles being laid out by Washington safety Deshazor Everett was one of the examples they cited. Everett was penalized on the field and fined later in the week but not suspended.

But enforcing a new edict will still carry the burden of interpretation, giving officials more gray area to wade through, along with the inherent pressure of ejecting a player.

31 responses to “Ejections for “egregious” hits now a point of emphasis for officials

  1. Let’s just switch to flag football. Then in 10 years we can change that to 2 hand touch. More rules than US Congress.

  2. Caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, you have a large segment of fans arguing that the game is becoming way too watered down and baby-fied. On the other hand, you have examples of current and ex-players showing clear symptoms of CTE and other mental and physical ailments and scientific evidence demonstrating the long-term consequences of playing.

  3. I see Safeties getting ejected now for hard hits when a qb hangs a guy out to dry with a long over the middle. This is a slippery slope. I foresee this will also be overused now that it’s a point of emphasis.

    On top of it, I know this will somehow someway cost the Cleveland browns up to two wins this year.

  4. This is how the NFL runs. To address 3 or 4 plays over the course of the season they make it a point of emphasis which will cause probably 50 bad calls as the officials randomly eject guys not because they did anything illegal but because the hit looked bad.

  5. who determines the hit was “egregious”? once impact players start getting tossed, the appearance of game fixing by officials for certain teams will be a talking point.

  6. One thing that will not be considered egregious is a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cam Newton as he is standing like a statue in the pocket. After all, he’s a running back, not a QB, and ‘Bama fans think he got paid to play in college, and he does end zone dances, so he’s more evil than any despotic dictator that ever lived. So ANY hit he takes is legal, because he is evil and deserved it.

    Blandino will simply say, “I’m sorry, but we just have no possible way to ever determine if he’s in or out of the pocket.”

  7. .

    So now if our Beloved Tom Brady FALLS on another player that player is at risk of being ejected for egregiously allowing Tommy to land on him.

  8. .
    please note the definition of egregious
    I guess it makes sense, while ref’s eject the player we counter that the tackle was remarkably good.

    1. outstandingly bad; shocking.
    2. remarkably good.

  9. Defensive players do not have to hit high on a defenseless receiver. They can go low which is what the league is forcing them to do. You’ll see less concussions and more career-ending knee injuries. When they start handing out suspensions for hits at the knee causing injury, they will have finally reduced the game to where the fans lose interest.

  10. For all of the “tough guys” out there who think this is “sissification” that is going to ruin the sport, please spare us all from your macho tough guy BS.

    This rule is for “egregious” dirty cheap shots.

    Think back to OBJ, running full sprint for about 10 yards and launching the crown of his helmet into Josh Norman’s chin WAYYYYY after the whistle was blown, when Norman wasn’t looking mind you. If you have a problem with dirty players like that getting tossed than you need to get a clue.

    I’m fine with OBJ getting a 4 game suspension for BS hits like that. In that case you have a clearly premeditated, extremely dangerous late hit where Norman could have been knocked out cold or had a serious neck injury.

  11. As a long time Miami fan I want to know if egregious hits will include ‘inadvertent’ stomping

  12. Harming a player is NOT football. Weakening the game? You’ve got to be joking.

    We’re football fans, not spectators in a gladiator arena.

    Let’s protect these men who excel at a sport that we would all love to play ourselves; let them retire with healthy minds and bodies.

  13. It all sounds pretty severe to me.
    Maybe the league could figure out some way to put a “safe space” on each sideline so that offending players wouldn’t have to undergo the humiliation of being ejected.
    Might prevent a bunch of micro-aggressions or something.
    Just make sure that the Russian can’t hack the replay booth.

  14. You will however still be able to purchase prints and videos of said hits at the gift shop.

  15. Players are getting bigger and faster every year. If blatant viciousness isn’t address, it won’t be long before physics takes over and the fans with get a nationally televised death on the field. Determining an egregious hit is, however, a very gray area. I think the only way to fairly enforce it is to allow the coaches challenges for any play – not just field position, fumbles, etc. Keep the number of challenges the same but allow the coach the ability to spot personal fouls and challenge the refs for not calling it (or calling it in error). If you don’t know how to tackle without being a missile aimed at someones head or knees, you shouldn’t be in the game. Throw them out.

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