NFL vice president Ray Anderson told The Associated Press on Monday that the league could start suspending players for dangerous helmet-to-helment hits.
Anderson acknowledged that the NFL might need to do more than just fining players in an effort to cut down the hits, a day after several violent hits occurred in Sunday\’s games.
Anderson went on to say that the NFL could make changes in its approach to such hits immediately. He says: “Going forward there are certain hits that occurred that will be more susceptible to suspension.”
Steelers linebacker James Harrison seems to be at the top of the list because he sidelined two Browns players with head injuries in the second quarter of the Steelers 28-10 win. Harrison knocked out both Joshua Cribbs and Mohammed Massaquoi on Sunday, but even Browns running back Peyton Hillis thought the hit on Cribbs was clean. The hit on Massaquoi will definitely be reviewed, but the receiver did lower his head prior to the hit.
NY Times writer Judy Battista tweeted that she talked to Anderson and he added that the NFL could change rules after the season to ban all hits with helmets. Anderson was quoted saying, “If we\’ve got to face the backlash of those who say we\’re making the game too soft, then so be it.”