Monday, September 29, 2008

Update on Eric Smith's Hit on Boldin

by: Matthew Heuett

As mentioned by Chris Sullivan in a previous post, Anquan Boldin was the victim of a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit yesterday during the Cardinals' loss to the Jets. Today, the NFL fined the Jets' safety Eric Smith $50k and suspended him for one game for the hit (link):

Specifically, on a pass play on Sunday, Smith engaged in helmet-to-helmet contact with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who was in a defenseless position at the time contact was made.

The suspension will sideline Smith for the Jets' game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Oct. 12 following the Jets bye on Oct. 5. The $50,000 fine includes the game check Smith will forfeit for the week of his suspension.
The article also includes a quotation from the text of "Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8(g)," which is the specific rule Smith violated. In case you're wondering what all that legalese means in normal human speak, Rule 2 is the rulebook chapter on "Player Conduct," Section 2 is "Personal Fouls", Article 8 deals with "Unecessary Roughness," and subsection (g) of Article 8 specifically covers "Impermissable Use of Hands and Facemask." And as long as I'm at it, here's the full text of 8(g) from the 2006 NFL Rulebook:
using any part of a player’s helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/“hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily; although such violent or unnecessary use of the helmet and facemask is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protecting those players who are in virtually defenseless postures (e.g., a player in the act of or just after throwing a pass, a receiver catching or attempting to catch a pass, a runner already in the grasp of a tackler, a kickoff or punt returner attempting to field a kick in the air, or a player on the ground at the end of a play). All players in virtually defenseless postures are protected by the same prohibitions against use of the helmet and facemask that are described in the roughing-the-passer rules (see Article 11, subsection 3 below of this Rule 12, Section 2);