Earl Thomas's hit on Mason Rudolph 10/6/2019 Ravens vs Steelers.

Earl Thomas's hit on Mason Rudolph 10/6/2019 Ravens vs Steelers.

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Christian Feezle started this petition to NFL and

This a petition to fight for follow up punishment for Earl Thomas via fine/suspension or both for his hit on Mason Rudolph during the Ravens vs Steelers game 10/6/2019.  Earl Thomas hit Mason Rudolph after Mason threw the ball leaving himself defenseless. Earl Thomas lead with his head making helmet to helmet contact with the quarterback. This caused Mason Rudolph to be knocked out unconscious due to the illegal hit. The NFL has rules to protect the quarterback especially the head of the quarterback. Earl Thomas walked away from the hit with a 15 yard penalty for roughing the passer and played the rest of the game. Mason Rudolph on the other hand was sent to the hospital to be evaluated for concussion. i believe Earl Thomas should have been ejected for this illegal hit.

Here is the NFL's rule for roughing the passer. Roughing will be called if, in the Referee’s judgment, a pass rusher clearly should have known that the ball had already left the passer’s hand before contact was made; pass rushers are responsible for being aware of the position of the ball in passing situations; the Referee will use the release of the ball from the passer’s hand as his guideline that the passer is now fully protected; once a pass has been released by a passer, a rushing defender may make direct contact with the passer only up through the rusher’s first step after such release (prior to second step hitting the ground); thereafter the rusher must be making an attempt to avoid contact and must not continue to “drive through” or otherwise forcibly contact the passer; incidental or inadvertent contact by a player who is easing up or being blocked into the passer will not be considered significant.

In covering the passer position, Referees will be particularly alert to fouls in which defenders impermissibly use the helmet and/or facemask to hit the passer, or use hands, arms, or other parts of the body to hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area (see also the other unnecessary roughness rules covering these subjects). A defensive player must not use his helmet against a passer who is in a defenseless posture—for example, (1) forcibly hitting the passer’s head or neck area with the helmet or facemask, even if the initial contact of the defender’s helmet or facemask is lower than the passer’s neck, and regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the passer by encircling or grasping him; or (2) lowering the head and making forcible contact with any part of the helmet against any part of the passer’s body. This rule does not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or non-crown parts of the helmet in the course of a conventional tackle on a passer.

This clearly states that Earl Thomas's hit on Mason Rudolph was illegal. I believe there is justice to be had here for quarterbacks in the NFL. If the NFL and Roger Goodell let Earl Thomas walk away from that hit without a fine/suspension or both they will be encouraging players to target Quarterbacks with helmet to helmet illegal hits. Its already bad enough they let Earl Thomas play the rest of the game.

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