In a spectacular case of revisionist history, the NFL has decided to fine New York Jets left guard Matt Slauson $10,000 for his block on Houston Texans linebacker Brian Cushing that ended Cushing’s season Monday night.
The NFL said that the fine was for an “illegal peel-back block,” which is actually pretty laughable to me, because as unfortunate as it is that Cushing was injured on it, there was simply nothing illegal about the play.
Watch the play below as Slauson, (#68, lined up second from the left at the start of the play) simply hustles to block the closest defender and ends up taking Cushing (#56) out of the play with a legal, albeit awkward block.
There’s a reason that Slauson was not flagged for the play. There was no penalty for what he did.
If Cushing had not been injured on the play, would there have been a fine? I imagine not. The NFL should not be trying to revise history and fine players for a result instead of an action.
Maybe the NFL should fine the turf at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, after Darrelle Revis suffered a torn ACL, the exact same injury as Cushing. These injuries are unfortunate, but there’s no one to blame nor fine.
Yet Slauson has been fined $10,000 for this play. He is reportedly appealing it, but he’s been mum about it to the media. The NFL looks foolish for fining him, yet I’d be shocked if Slauson won his appeal.
Slauson was not trying to injure Cushing. He was just trying to do his job.
The NFL has no business fining players for perfectly legal plays. There’s a difference between trying to make the game safer and fining players for freak injuries on everyday football plays.
It just makes me shake my head. The NFL can’t get out of its own way with these fines. They’re not consistent at all and in this case, they defy both logic and the rule book.
I can’t imagine it’s going to make Cushing feel any better that Slauson got fined. Now both parties are ticked off. Roger Goodell has embarrassed the shield yet again. Nice going, Roge.