When Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster delivered an illegal block to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, and then stood over Burfict and taunted him afterward, Pittsburgh was flagged for two penalties. But by rule, only one of those penalties could be enforced — a rule the league will consider changing for next year.
NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent said today that the league has discussed changing the rules so that two personal foul penalties could both be accepted, allowing for a 30-yard penalty for egregious acts.
“It has been discussed,” Vincent said. “It’ll be discussed again in February.”
The rule that only one penalty can be enforced on a team on a play makes sense, to a point: If four different offensive linemen false start, it wouldn’t make sense to call four five-yard penalties and march the offense back 20 yards. But the rule that allowed Smith-Schuster to get away with both an illegal hit and taunting — which was considered part of the “continuing action” of the play even though it happened after the play was over — creates a bad precedent where players could figure that if they’re going to get flagged for a personal foul anyway they might as well just go ahead and taunt the guy they hit.
So although 30 yards of penalties would be a harsh punishment, it would make sense: If a player commits two personal fouls on one play, he deserves a harsh punishment.