The second after it happened in the game last Sunday, Chad Greenway knew the NFL would be asking for a donation. Greenway was flagged for hitting a defenseless Calvin Johnson in the fourth quarter of the Minnesota Vikings win over the Detroit Lions.
Greenway really cracked Johnson good in the head with his shoulder pads on a dropped pass in the middle of the field. Johnson immediately hit the ground, and was out for several plays receiving concussion tests.
Some may call the hit a cheap shot, but others like myself just saw a guy playing at a high speed that didn’t tone it down for one play. I know today’s NFL is different, but it’s tough to ask a premier linebacker to just stop on a dime and not hit the other team’s best receiver.
Greenway is not a dirty player, and immediately you could see he regretted his actions after the play:
“You feel bad about that. Obviously, I don’t want to get a penalty, for starters, to hurt our team. I certainly don’t want to get a fine, because my wife will yell at me. And I don’t want to hurt Calvin. I don’t want to hurt anybody.
“For me, as a player, I’m thinking, he’s going to catch that ball 99 percent of the time. He didn’t that time, so when I go up to try to break the ball up, my pad — it’s clear on the tape that it hits his head. What are you going to do? They’re going to throw the flag and I’m probably going to be assessed a fine and that’s just the way they’re going to do it.”
Well the league certainly handed down a fine, and they did it to the tune of $21,000 dollars.
Greenway is subsequently appealing the fine.
I for one hope to see his aggressive play continue. He’s not a guy that’s trying to hurt people, he’s just out there playing hard-nosed old school football. A lot of his defensive teammates are playing with that same attitude, and the results on the field speak for themselves.