If the NFL is going to take head injuries seriously, the hit that Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie put on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Byron Leftwich should have been more severe than a $21,000 fine. Regardless whether it was a presason game or not, a suspension was deserved, and with many lawsuits filed by former players the question is, why was the punishment so soft?
It speaks volumes when Rodgers-Cromartie jokes, “twenty-one thousand. I ain’t even got that” which shows that he just doesn’t get the seriousness of his actions.
Here is a clip of the hit he put on Leftwich:
The reason the punishment deserved to be more than a fine is the way that he jumps and launches himself at the head of Leftwich. How that didn’t become a suspension is completely irresponsible of the league, especially with the recent concerns over concussions and hits on defenseless players. Just because he got up immediately after the hit doesn’t mean a suspension wasn’t warranted.
Last season the Steelers’ James Harrison hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy resulted in a one game suspension, and if had made that hit on Leftwich, there’s no doubt a suspension would be coming.
There’s no question that the fine from the league on Rodgers-Cromartie should have been more than the $21,000 and that a one game suspension would have set the tone throughout the NFL that going after the head of a defenseless player even in a preseason game won’t be tolerated.
It’s also hypocritical to implement rules on players safety and when the first opportunity arises in the preseason the player doesn’t even get a slap on the wrist as punishment.
Thanks to Footballhardesthits for the video.