I’m sure many of you are aware that the NFL has informed Denver Broncos CB Aqib Talib that he will be suspended one game for poking Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen in the eye.
This begs the question: So what about St. Louis Rams CB Lamarcus Joyner?
For those not aware, Joyner was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a hit on Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater. You can read this Deadspin article and see a clip of the play, in which it looks like Joyner wants it to appear he’s avoiding Bridgwater, but keeps his elbow lowered to nail Bridgewater in the helmet.
Bridgewater was knocked unconscious on the play and left the game. He will have to undergo concussion protocol this week and may miss next week’s game against the Oakland Raiders.
It’s worth noting two other things:
1. Rams DE William Hayes came in at Bridgewater’s knees earlier, after Bridgwater had gotten rid of the ball.
2. The Rams defensive coordinator is Gregg Williams, who we all know about his history with the Saints.
While Talib has run afoul of NFL policies regarding on-field conduct before, you would think Joyner’s hit deserves a one-game suspension. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert argues that Joyner should be punished severely, but acknowledges that Joyner will likely not be suspended.
I do expect the NFL to fine him, but maybe the NFL needs to consider what it’s really doing with its intentions on protecting player safety, and punish based on the severity of the play, not how often somebody has been an offender.
We can debate whether or not the NFL should take a role in punishing players for off-field conduct, but on-field conduct absolutely falls under the NFL’s jurisdiction and where it’s easier for the NFL to argue that it should be able to take into account the severity of the infraction.