The 2018 NFL season has its first ejection.
Andrew Luck, back in football after an eternity away from the game, was breaking loose around the end against the Cincinnati Bengals and just starting to kind of slide when he was pulled to the ground. Safety Shawn Williams, however, launched himself into the play and hit Luck helmet-to-helmet.
The flags flew immediately, and soon afterward, Williams was ejected from the game.
The new helmet-use rule mandates a 15-yard penalty and automatic first down if a player “lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent anywhere on his body.” The player can also be tossed at the discretion of officials.
The determination was that Williams’ hit crossed a line.
The helmet rule is going to be a confusing one for fans and defenses alike. But in cases like this, there’s no gray area whatsoever.
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