As expected, Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was fined over $21,000 this week for his Week 5 Sunday hit on Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph that resulted in the player being knocked out cold, according to Jamison Hensley of espn.com. Thomas will reportedly appeal the fine.
Thomas said after the game that he didn’t think his hit on Rudolph was illegal and also didn’t think it was dirty in nature. The veteran safety also said he didn’t believe he should be fined for his hit on Rudolph after the game.
“Hopefully not because it was still a football play,” Thomas said. “It wasn’t dirty. He actually got sandwiched. B. Carr [Brandon Carr] came from behind and I hit him from the side, like I said, in the strike zone. Because I think, I didn’t see a flag, initially, but I think once they saw how serious it was, they were like, ‘Oh, let me throw this flag.’ Which is understandable.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh also said this past week that he believes it’s clear that Thomas wasn’t looking to purposefully injure Rudolph.
“I see Earl trying to pull off. There’s no question about it when you watch the tape,” Harbaugh said a few days ago. “He goes in there, and as he gets close, he’s running to the ball. Mason is scrambling and going, and he [Thomas] is running to the ball, playing fast, and he tries to pull out. It’s clear. So, I respect him for that. It’s just an unfortunate collision.”
Thomas will now get his day in court via his appeal but this is one he’ll likely lose. While I dont think Thomas should have been kicked out of Sunday’s game or suspended for his hit on Rudolph, I do think he deserves to be fined. We’ll now see if the person who hears his appeal feels the same.
A few weeks ago, Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree was fined $21,056 for his Week 2 helmet-to-helmet hit on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Thomas has reportedly reached out to Rudolph by calling him and texting him this week. Rudolph, however, has yet to respond, according to Thomas.
“I wanted to him to know that I didn’t do it on purpose,” Thomas said. “That’s all I wanted him to know.”