The NFL fined Dunta Robinson $50,000 Tuesday for his frightening hit to the head of Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
Though players typically appeal fines in an attempt to reduce the cost, there is little chance Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robinson or two other players billed for concussive hits this past Sunday will prevail.
League disciplinarian Ray Anderson warned Robinson and the others that “Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension.”
The heavy and prompt action is part of the NFL crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits of defenseless players.
James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers was fined $75,000 for two head shots this past weekend, Brandon Meriweather of the New England Patriots $50,000 for another hit to the head.
All of the fines technically are for “flagrant violations of player safety rules.”
In the case of Robinson’s hit on Jackson, NFL Executive Vice President
of Football Operations Anderson wrote:
“In the second quarter of Atlanta’s game against Philadelphia, Robinson unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver. That action violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (g) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states that it is unnecessary roughness if the initial force of the contact by a defender’s helmet, forearm, or shoulder is to the head or neck area of a defenseless receiver who is catching or attempting to catch a pass.”
While replays showed Robinson appeared to be lining his shoulder up to hit Jackson, he wound up using the helmet. Both players were knocked unconscious.
Jackson is a longshot to play this week. He likely will sit out the next three weeks, as the Eagles’ bye week follows their game this weekend with the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.