Chicago Bears’ Julius Peppers fined for helmet hit on Rodgers
After being fined $5,000 for hitting Detroit Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford on the head, Chicago Bears’ defensive end Julius Peppers said that he would “do the same thing again.”
And do it again, he did.
The NFL realized that it would be a bit harder to keep Peppers from making unnecessary hits on players because, frankly, he doesn’t care. According to sources, the league fined Peppers $10,000 for a helmet to helmet hit on Green Bay Packers’ quarterback
Aaron Rodgers in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday.
Two sources familiar with the situation say that the league informed Peppers about the fine on Wednesday. The sources wished to remain anonymous since the league has not officially released the statement about the fine.
Peppers had a penalty for roughing the passer on the play that drew blood from Rodgers. Rodgers has already suffered two concussions but was not seriously injured and continued to play in the game, which they Packers won, 21-14, and advanced to February
6th’s Super Bowl against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rodgers had changed helmets early in the season after the two previous concussions and said that it was his helmet that saved him from another potential concussion. However, he did not go into detail about the safety of his new helmet.
“Not too much to talk about,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t have a concussion. I want to dispel that rumor. No concussion. I was fine. Yeah. Helmets are designed to prevent concussions, I think.”
Joe Philbin, offensive coordinator for the Packers, said that Rodgers is a lot tougher than people give him credit for.
“Unfortunately, he’s been sacked a bunch since he started playing in ’08 — more times that we’d like to admit,” Philbin said. “So I think his physical toughness has really never been in question. How this particular game compares to other games, I don’t
really have a good feel for. But certainly he’s a tough, physical guy.”
The penalty on the play cost the Bears 15 yards. Fans were upset about the call but there was really nothing that Peppers could do to avoid a hit when you look at the replays. However, rules are rules and the five time Pro Bowler certainly hit Rodgers with
his helmet. The minimum punishment for the hit is a penalty and fine.
So where is the NFL heading now? Well, it’s a big question since the league is focusing more on safety, making it harder to defend against offenses that have increasing their production. If the NFL is so concerned about safety, shouldn’t they be fining every
single helmet to helmet hit, intentional or not? A hit on Indianapolis Colts’ Austin Collie in November resulted in only a penalty with no fine because it was deemed accidental.
When players can’t hit the way that they are taught to, it creates problems. That’s because they have to be more careful about now drawing a penalty or fine and cannot play with the same strength and ferocity that the great defenses play with. People get
as much enjoyment out of a good, strong defensive play that they do from a touchdown pass, but now NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is also cracking down on the few good defenders left in the sport.
It is no coincidence that following the implementation on a fine and penalty rule for flagrant hits, the NFL saw the biggest increase in combined offensive points since Super Bowl I. on top of that, there seem to be conspiracies going on with who to fine.
Players that are penalized on the field do not get fined and players that have executed arguably clean hits on the field are penalized later on.
Do you think that the NFL is doing the right thing in concern of players’ safety? Or are they just taking away from the spirit of football?