The NFL fined three players a total of $175,000 on Tuesday for helmet-to-helmet hits delivered in Week 6, putting the league on notice of the high price involved in breaking the rules on player safety.
It’s a fine line the league and NFL Players Association will have to walk when it comes to enforcing safety measures in what is an inherently violent sport, and it’s a good bet we’ll be hearing the players voice their opinions in the coming days.
As a player who takes these hits, Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw said during a visit to the NFL Network studios on Tuesday that he didn’t think the league was over-reacting to the recent string of concussions, but the speed of the game dictates big hits are part of the game.
“I love the physical [nature] of football, but it is dangerous,” Bradshaw said. “I don’t harp about it, I don’t play the game to think about getting hit. I actually love the contact, and the sport. Honestly, I can’t say they’re [paying too much attention] to it too much, because it is dangerous. But, it is a physical game.”
Bradshaw said there’s an understanding among players that they’ve signed up to play a game they know is dangerous. He believes most of his teammates — with the exception of situations where receivers are in a defenseless position — probably felt the same way about helmet-to-helmet hits.
– Frank Tadych