Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath will not be fined by the NFL for his illegal hit on Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette during the Cowboys 13-12 loss to the Seahawks on November 1.
Following the hit, Lockette was left unconscious and laid motionless for several minutes before he was strapped to a backboard and taken to hospital where he required surgery to stabilize ligaments in his neck.
Heath was penalized during the game for an illegal blind-side block on the play, but the league has stated that it didn't warrant any additional punishment or fine.
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This is surprising and shows inconsistency when you think of similar incidents that have resulted in further punishment and hefty fines. For example, during the same game Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett was fined $20,000 for his late hit on Dallas quarterback Matt Cassel.
Below are several other incidents that also happened during gameweek eight which resulted in additional sanctions:
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Cincinnati Bengals safety George Iloka was retrospectively fined $23,152 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller during the Bengals' 16-10 victory also on Sunday.
Iloka was called for unnecessary roughness after Miller caught the 14-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger, and the 15-yard penalty helped set up a field goal for Pittsburgh.
Also following last weekend's game between the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets, Oakland linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong was forced to pay the league $17,363 for his hit to the midsection of New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith despite Armstrong not actually being penalized during the game.
Punishments need to be more specific
All of these events show how the NFL has lost touch with its fine procedure, there seems to be no cohesion between the offense and the fine/ban implemented; the NFL simply plucks a number out of the air.
Whilst we continue to complain about refereeing decisions, we also have to look at the decision-making and rule makers in the NFL who are the real ones to blame for the farcical decisions we have seen already this season.
In my opinion a new committee needs to be formed to implement fair and consistent punishments.
Do you think the NFL's punishments need to be more consistent? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below
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