The NFL did not fine Dallas SS Jeff Heath for his injury-inducing hit on Seattle WR Ricardo Lockette that sent Lockette to the hospital for five days, but has slapped Seahawks DE Michael Bennett with a $20,000 fine for a late hit on Cowboys’ QB Matt Cassel that drew a penalty.
Heath knocked Lockette cold during a punt return just before halftime of Seattle’s 13-12 victory Sunday and drew a 15-yard penalty. Lockette left the field on a stretcher and underwent surgery for neck ligament damage at Baylor University Medical Center. He was released Thursday. The NFL did not explain why it did not fine Heath for his personal foul, nor did it say why Heath was penalized if the play was legal.
Lockette is done for the season, It is unclear whether he will be able to play again.
With 1:06 remaining in the game, Cassel attempted a deep throw to WR Dez Bryant. Bennett crashed into Cassel’s legs and was flagged 15 yards for roughing the passer. The NFL determined Bennett deserved a $20,000 fine for the hit.
The fine is Bennett’s third of the year. He was docked $20,000 for blocking Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton during an interception last month. During the preseason, he drew a $17,363 fine for a hit on Kansas City QB Alex Smith.
The Seahawks (4-4) have a bye and will return to action Nov. 15 when they host the NFC West-leading Arizona Cardinals (6-2) at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is 5:30 p.m. (NBC).
I thought the hit on Lockette was a solid football block – that it caused a concussion though, should have warranted a fine.
They were both running full speed. Looked like a legal hit, just that Lockette hit wrong and certainly got the worst of it.
The fine on Bennett I think is stupid. I saw how it happened. The Seahawks won’t get a break from the zebras ever. And they are one of the cleanest playing teams, Bennett’s sack dance not withstanding . . .
Lock and Health reacted to a football situation and Health got the best of Lock. Not a dirty hit at all. The play was brutal, and damaging to Lock. The colosseum roared before it got quieter. Frightful.
I’ve seen the NFL fine players on a borderline hit if a player was seriously injured. IMO, Heath left his feet which would be defined as him launching himself which in itself is illegal. Lock did see him for half a second and maybe that was good enough for the League but obviously not enough time for him to protect himself. I question if this isn’t the League trying to even things out after Golden Tate’s hit a few years ago.