The NFL wants to take hits to the head out of the game of football, and Bengals strong safety Shawn Williams learned that the hard way in the first quarter of today’s game.
Williams was ejected from the game for hitting Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in the head.
It was a hard hit and unnecessary because Luck was already going down when Williams nailed him. But it was also the kind of hit that in the recent past wouldn’t have drawn an ejection, and a decade ago wouldn’t have drawn any penalty at all.
The officials took their time discussing it, and former NFL referee Gene Steratore said on the CBS broadcast that he believes the league’s officiating command center in New York may have contacted the officials on the field to urge them to eject Williams.
The league has warned that ejections for hits to the head may increase this year, and Williams was the first to get tossed.
Luck appeared to be OK. He popped right back up, went to the huddle and stayed on the field for the next play.