NFL says Bucs’ hit on sliding Cam Newton was “incidental,” not “forcible”

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When Panthers safety Eric Reid was ejected on Thursday night for a hit on sliding Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, some Panthers fans cried foul: Just four days earlier, the Buccaneers weren’t penalized at all for a hit on sliding Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. What’s the difference?

According to the NFL, the difference is the hit to Newton’s head while he was sliding was “incidental” and not “forcible.”

In a video distributed today, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron showed the play and said that Buccaneers safety Andrew Adams made only incidental contact with Newton’s head.

“The defender has already committed himself by the time the quarterback begins his slide, and there is no forcible contact to the neck or head area. There is some incidental contact, but this is not forcible contact,” Riveron said.

Determining the difference between “incidental” and “forcible” in the instant that a defensive player hits a quarterback isn’t easy, and sometimes the lines will get blurred. But the NFL says that’s the key distinction to make when determining whether or not a hit on a sliding quarterback is a penalty.

18 responses to “NFL says Bucs’ hit on sliding Cam Newton was “incidental,” not “forcible”

  1. Is there a link where we can see the play? If it is similar to Reid’s hit on Roethlisberger, it’d be interesting to see.

    Now, we do need to accept that Newton will not get the calls that the other guys would because he runs a lot more than them. It’s unfair, but he’s a victim of his own toughness in a way. I would like to see the play before being certain on that, but I will acknowledge that there are times when he deserved a call (at least as much as Brady or Rodgers or Roethlisberger does) and didn’t get it.

  2. If I’m not mistaken, Roethlisberger’s knee was already down even before Reid lined him up for a shot to the head. He didn’t even ease up a single bit. That’s a penalty 100% of the time.

  3. Cam gets no respect from officials. I’m not even a fan of the guy, but I’ve seen him take far more illegal hits that haven’t been called compared to most any other QB. Just because he’s built like a LB doesn’t mean he’s not a QB.

  4. Why not do away with the referee overview, I have yet to see that they hold a ref in violation. This was a flagrant hit and at least should have been penalized.

  5. If Reid hadn’t missed by a quarter of an inch, there’s a good chance that Big Ben would’ve been KO’d just like Bridgewater in 2015 against the Rams (Google it). That’s a penalty ten times out of ten.

  6. I’m no Eric Reid fan, but to be fair Roethlisberger didn’t just run a couple yards and give himself up……………..he was running for every yard he could get, and didn’t initially slide feet first……. that was an awkward slide.

    Look Roethlisberger got clipped in the head he didn’t get a full on POP

    It looked like the strike zone changed as well and to say he got hit way after he was down…………nah!

    This is a violent sport if a QB takes off running then he is a RB and knows the risk.

  7. doggz109 says:
    November 9, 2018 at 3:39 pm
    The white QBs are protected by the NFL. Just the way it goes.
    Wow wonder what they are supposed to do for Patrick Mahomes then, according to you they should only protect him 50% of the time?

  8. Roethlisberger doesn’t get nearly the amount of calls that QBs like Brady or Rodgers do, likely for the same reason Cam Newton doesn’t: they’re big, physical quarterbacks who are tough to bring down.

  9. D. Kazee was ejected for a similar hit on Cam Newton this year yet we only mention some incident involving Cam when there wasn’t a penalty.

  10. The league really refuses to protect Black quarterbacks. I don’t want to hear he’s a victim of his own playing style, that’s false. He takes so many illegal hits in the pockets it’s insane.

  11. And yet another incident where the league shows that safety is paramount…

    Safety of their ratings…

    Safety of their cash flow…

    What, did you think I was talking about player safety?

  12. abc12320001 says:
    November 9, 2018 at 4:03 pm
    D. Kazee was ejected for a similar hit on Cam Newton this year yet we only mention some incident involving Cam when there wasn’t a penalty.

    Actually not only did Kazee target Cam’s head, he hit him directly in the head with his helment. Huge difference.

  13. It’s pretty easy to tell if it’s forcible contact. All you have to do is look at the name on the back of the jersey. Rodgers, Brady, Roethlisberger, Manning, Rivers, Smith, Cousins, Luck, Allen, Darnold et al automatic penalty. Newton’s not… old enough to get that call.

  14. The NFL and the refs are full of baloney. There have been several forcible, helmet to helmit hits on Baker Mayfield that the refs didn’t even throw a flag on. And he’s not alone. Reid’s hit on Roethlisberger should have been a penalty for the late contact, but no ejection.

    Crappy officiating has become a “feature” of the NFL.

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