After knocking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph out of Sunday’s game with a scary hit to the head and neck area, Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas was not ejected from the contest. And while Thomas was flagged for roughing the passer on that third quarter play, an early Monday morning report indicates that the Ravens veteran safety isn’t expected to be suspended after the NFL reviews the play in New York, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network. Thomas, however, will likely be fined for his hit on Rudolph.
I have already posted my thoughts on the hit by Thomas on Rudolph on Twitter along with two angles of the replay and I stand by my assertion that while the Ravens safety was rightfully flagged and should be fined for said hit, I don’t believe the action was egregious enough to warrant him being ejected from the Sunday game. After all, if Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree wasn’t ejected for his hit on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson back in Week 2, Thomas shouldn’t have been ejected on Sunday. What about the Thursday night hit by Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Clay Matthews on Wilson?
Perhaps the NFL should start making it universal that any hit to any players’ head and neck area, no matter how serious in nature, results in an automatic ejection if they want to better curb theses sort of incidents moving forward. Like most of you, I hate to see any player injured and until a more universal, less subjective and consistent method of automatic penalty is devised, we are going to continue to have these kinds of discussions when it comes to hits to the head and neck area of players and especially when it comes to quarterbacks on a case-by-case basis.
Yes, it was a vicious hit by Thomas on Rudolph and yes, the results were very, very scary. That said, I still do not view it as a Vontaze Burfict-type hit. That said, determining intent and egregiousness is a very subjective thing unless Burfict is the one administering the hit. In my opinion, if one player gets ejected or suspended for hitting a player in the head and neck area, then every player should be that commits such an act.
We’ll now sit and wait to see what the NFL thinks about the Sunday hit on Rudolph by Thomas and if a suspension winds up being handed down. By the sound of things Monday morning, he’ll only be fined.