NFL Fines Friday: Detroit Lions’ Rocky McIntosh Fined, Bears Clear

Sep 15, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals guard Paul Fanaika (74) and tackle Eric Winston (73) talk with Detroit Lions linebacker Rocky McIntosh (52) after the game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Since this appears to be a continuing issue for the Detroit Lions, welcome to the first installment of NFL Fines Friday, where we review the notable fines (and non-fines) from the previous week of NFL action, and (presumably) all argue about them in the comments.

Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz took special exception to the hit Bears linebacker Jon Bostic laid on a prone Kris Durham.

Durham had covered up a Bears onside kick and slid to the ground, giving himself up to avoid a hit. He was rewarded with Bostic’s helmet in his back. The play wasn’t flagged, which in the context of the game at that point was irrelevant, which led Schwartz to sound off about it.

So the NFL can’t say they didn’t know about it. But with whatever rationale, the league has opted not to fine Bostic, nor Bears safety Major Wright for a perceived helmet shot to Calvin Johnson.

They did, however, get Rocky McIntosh for a horse-collar tackle.

That’s a pretty standard fine for a 15-yard penalty, and the NFL is getting serious about horse-collar tackles. But they’re also serious about late hits and helmet shots, so the fact that McIntosh’s was the only fine from that game is, at the very least, puzzling.

Bostic was, however, fined $21,000 for this hit in the preseason. So, I don’t know, you be the judge. What’s the rationale here?

Topics: Detroit Lions, Jon Bostic, Kris Durham, NFL Fines

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  • Herman Moore

    The penalty on McIntosh was questionable, yet he gets fined, while a blatant late hit and a H2H get a pass?

    • Dean Holden

      That seems to be the case, yes. I really dislike conspiracy theories and “NFL hates the Lions” stuff, and since the NFL is all about parity and fairness, it is in their best interests to preserve that. But this is REALLY hard to defend from any angle. I would have liked to at least hear a rationale.

  • TC

    Ford was right about them being a bunch of thugs I guess. But the worst part about it all is the league is turning a blind eye to it as far as the Bears are concerned. Either the Chicago coaches are ok with the dirty play or they have no control ? NFL !!! Detroit is not the whipping boy of the league. Step up and get control of this crap now.

    • Dean Holden

      The “bunch of thugs” comment was hilariously overblown. And Chicago’s coaches aren’t going to call their own guys out, especially if the league office doesn’t say anything or dish out fines. It’s the NFL’s job to call out late hits and illegal hits. If they treat it like a non-issue, why would the Bears do differently?

      • TC

        My point was not expecting the coaches to call out their own players, you said that not me. My point was if they want them to play like that. They do it every week. If a lion pisses on his shoe they want to fine em. So what is the recourse for the fans . The Lions as a team ? There is an ISSUE here. ??

        • Dean Holden

          There is certainly an issue. The Lions, and their fans, have no recourse. The NFL decided that a late hit to a prone player and a couple of H2H shots were not worth a fine. I’m trying to stay as neutral as possible on the issue (as I will in future iterations of NFL Fines Friday), but I certainly see an inconsistency here. Still, I’m trying to present things so that you can draw your own conclusions.

  • footballsucksnow

    I miss the replacement refs. Maybe we’d be better off with a replacement commissioner? The “horse collar” wasn’t even a horse collar, McIntosh’s hand closed on the dude’s name, it never made it to his collar. Defenseless receiver blah blah blah there is no consistency from game to game unless you’re the Lions; they already know they’re going to get boned by the referees and the league. Whether or not the NFL is conspiring against them, the demonization of Suh was unquestionable. “Good vs evil” was the name of the game when the lions played the patriots in the preseason 2 years ago. Sounds like the NFL wants the lions to play admirals to the globetrotters ….

    • Dean Holden

      I agree that the horse-collar was questionable, but I’m not especially angry about the fine. You’re spot on about the demonization of Suh, though. Regardless of the fact that he’s hardly been penalized at all in the last two seasons, he remains spotlighted every Sunday. If he sheds a block too hard, people start talking about dirty play.

      • footballsucksnow

        McIntosh deserved the fine, but it was a borderline, arguable play that looked to me like it was free of malicious intent. I don’t think the same can be said for the bears. Helmet to helmet hits are hard to see unless you see the replay. But even if the refs miss it, the league should have no excuse not to see every single H2H hit. Fine everybody, if its really about player safety. Every single H2H hit. And as far as the defenseless receiver goes, I’ve only seen that called a few times. What I have noticed is the safeties have to hit low, and is an obliterated knee any better than a concussion?

        • Dean Holden

          That’s an argument that’s going on right now, that of head injuries vs. other injuries. But this is a slippery slope that ends with the destruction of the sport. Defenders have to have somewhere to hit people. The NFL has decided the head is off-limits, and that’s fine. Concussions, especially multiple ones, are scary things. But if they’re going to enforce that, they could at least be consistent. Nobody knows what is and isn’t legal anymore because of stuff like this.

          Unrelated: Thanks for the comment. I try to respond to all comments on my pieces at SLR, so come back anytime.

          • footballsucksnow

            I agree, players have to hit somewhere. All I’m saying is that by making more rules the destructionof the sport is already at hand. This isn’t football anymore. Player safety should fall firstly on the players, not the equipment or the rules. If you take away some padding maybe the players wont feel so invincible. The NFL is a brotherhood you always hear, but in that split second where you have a choice to smoke a guy or just hit him to take him down, people are going for the big hits. I see this constantly, players are so focused on the big hit that they’re not even going for the tackle. This is usually vs. running backs, and half the time the defensive player is hurt in the process while simultaneously missing the tackle. If they didn’t have pads on, nobody would be hitting to hurt people. They’d be trying to make the play. And while this isn’t a viable option, maybe it would be worth a slight attempt. Take something away rather than making new problems. The rules and inability to consistently enforce them is infuriatingly stupid. Every play should be challengeable, even if its a ball going above the uprights in the SUPER BOWL. Just makes me think the NFL is really, really focused on making as much money as possible without really caring about the integrity of the game OR the safety of the players.