Fine Seems Likely for Lions Rookie LB Sims
Detroit Lions rookie linebacker Ernie Sims probably should expect to be fined for his hit on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in Sims's first NFL game last Sunday.
Ray Anderson, the league's senior vice president of football operations, said in a written statement released today that the play was under review for a possible fine. But Anderson also made it perfectly clear what he thought of Sims's hit, citing it as an example of a play that could lead to a fine because Sims, according to Anderson, had a chance to avoid contact with a sliding quarterback and instead drove his helmet into Hasselbeck. Sims was penalized on the play.
In his statement, Anderson said the hit by the Cincinnati Bengals' Robert Geathers on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Trent Green last Sunday that left Green hospitalized for two days with a concussion was legal. Anderson said that Green started his slide late and Geathers was being blocked in the back by another Chiefs player, negating the usual rule that a defender cannot hit a quarterback who slides feet-first as a means of protection at the end of a run. Geathers's hit did not draw a penalty, much to the Chiefs' dismay.
The league office sent a memo to each of the 32 teams today reminding them that a defender cannot unnecessarily hit a quarterback who slides, but also that a quarterback who uses a slide for protection must begin his slide before contact is imminent.
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