In the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game between the Vikings and 49ers, San Francisco cornerback Josh Norman was seen dropping both fists aggressively onto the lower back of Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen during a scrum for a loose ball.
Norman wasn’t flagged. He also wasn’t fined, according to NFL Media.
It’s unclear why Norman wasn’t punished at all for the punch, especially in the same week when the league suspended Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill two games (reduced to one on appeal) for a post-game punch of a Raiders player.
The play in question was over but players were actively jostling for the ball. While there’s a certain amount of tolerated frenzy that occurs in those situations, Norman’s reaction seems more than a bit excessive.
It’s another reason why the league desperately needs full (or any) transparency when it comes to these decisions. Why no foul? Why no fine? The situation raises questions that never will be answered, especially not with a full day of bright shiny objects on the way.