NFL ruling following Dallas Goedert’s concussion is puzzling

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

No fine is coming Justin Simmons’ way. That’s the result of the ruling that was handed down from the National Football League in the days that followed Dallas Goedert leaving the field in Week 10 with an obvious head injury and the concussion that he’s been dealing with as a result ever since.

Football is, was, and always will be an emotional game, so you’d be hard-pressed to find any Philadelphia Eagles fan that didn’t find fault with seeing Simmons’ helmet collide with Goedert’s and then looking around for a penalty flag that never came.

Now, certain statements must be made. No one is calling Justin Simmons’ a dirty player by any stretch of the imagination. That’s a narrative that we’ve never heard, and it’s common knowledge that the NFL can be a violent game, one in which these types of occurrences, though unfortunate, can be common.

We also have to be honest. Stating that Simmons did nothing wrong deems this a legal hit, and when guys are being penalized for less while flags are also being thrown by referees who are confusing emotion for taunting, we have to ask.

What the heck is going on here?

The NFL answers questions about Simmons’ collision with Dallas Goedert.

The NFL’s senior vice president of officiating administration, Perry Fewell, explained the lack of a call and the league’s ruling on Wednesday and the findings were released shortly after the Eagles had completed a Wednesday practice session, one Dallas Goedert sat out of while he still sits in the league’s concussion protocol. Here’s some of the explanation.

"In Philadelphia versus Denver, Philadelphia 88 received the ball and began to advance down the field. Denver 21 attempted to tackle Philadelphia 88, who began to lose his balance. Then, Denver 31 made a hit on the ball carrier with his shoulder. When the receiver clearly is a runner and moving with the ball. It is only a foul if the defender lowers his head and initiates contact with his helmet. It is NOT a foul for a shoulder-to-helmet hit on the runner unless he is down or out of bounds."

While that may be the rule, say what you will. Agree or disagree, but this one is still a head-scratcher. Goedert is in danger of missing Philadelphia’s Week 11 contest versus the New Orleans Saints.

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Sometimes, from the outside looking in, it appears that the NFL can be so obsessed with what rules say that they forget to pay attention to what’s being seen on the field. The Birds will move on as they should. Goedert will return to the field at some point, but after rewinding the tape over and over and looking at the evidence. it’s still hard to see where they’re coming from on this one.