During the preseason, the Baltimore Ravens on at least one occasion had two different players on the field at the same time whose helmet contained a communications device between the sideline and the players in the game.
In case you’re wondering, yes, that is illegal. Yesterday, the league fined the organization $200,000 for violating the rule that prohibits this, and the team issued a statement claiming that the equipment staff was not aware that the rule applied to the preseason, and that the organization globally was not aware that the event had occurred at all.
This is the second disciplinary action the organization has faced this offseason. Back in the spring, they were forced to forfeit two OTA sessions after it was found that they were permitting too much contact between players during rookie minicamp in May. A couple of years prior, they received a fine and were stripped of three OTAs for having their rookies in full pads.
It’s somewhat interesting that the report of the fine comes this week, coming off a game in which the Ravens used three different players on defense who wore the communications device in their helmet. After starting inside linebacker and signal-caller C.J. Mosley left the team’s week two game early due to injury, he had to give up his helmet.
When he came off the field, the green dot was initially given to fellow starting inside linebacker Patrick Onswuasor. Head Coach John Harbaugh declined to say for how many series he wore the helmet, but the Ravens gave up touchdowns on four consecutive possessions after Mosley was injured. Safety Eric Weddle finished the game with the green dot, and he will be the one to wear it for however long Mosley might be out, if at all.
Though this is a Pittsburgh Steelers website, I’m not going to blow the Ravens’ infraction out of proportion. It’s quite likely that the violation of the rule was innocent enough, perhaps even unintentional on the part of the equipment staff. Frankly, I wouldn’t care if every player on the field were able to get the calls in from the sideline.
Still, the Ravens have been disciplined by the league as much as any other organization in recent years, even the New England Patriots. They are also one of the teams most active in proposing new rules during every league meeting. They should probably be a little more diligent with this stuff.