The NFL put in to place a new rule over the offseason that saw new emphasis on trying to eliminate hits with the helmet.
To be quite honest, fans were furious with the move. The preseason was littered by referees flowing flags and calling the penalty when it wasn’t necessary at all, and supporters fumed on social media that the ruling was going to ruin the sport of football.
Thankfully, referees have become more conservative when it comes to calling the penalty, with no big controversies so far as we enter week two of the regular season.
The ruling was invoked today and with good reason – as Damontae Kazee of the Falcons nearly knocked out Cam Newton with a hit to the helmet.
On 4th and 4, Newton scrambled to pick up the first down. The QB slid in the open field. Kazee came flying in very late and struck Newton in the helmet.
Quite rightly, Kazee was ejected from the game on the unnecessary roughness call and was sent off to the showers.
You can take a look at the play here…
What the hell was he thinking?!
Newton is obviously sliding on the play and is nearly ready to get up and back in the huddle before Kazee decides to go into him helmet first.
Newton went to the sideline and medical tent to be evaluated but returned to the game without missing a play. He capped the drive with a 5-yard touchdown strike to Jairus Wright.
Kazee has been promoted to the starting lineup following the injury to Falcons safety Keanu Neal. He’s not going to see the field for a game or two now as he is expected to receive a severe punishment from the league because of the hit.