For some reason the NFL is making a real effort to keep Adam Jones on the field. Not only did the officiating crew in the game Sunday neglect their duties by not ejecting Jones, but now the NFL is doing their damndest to not make up for it.
For those unfamiliar with what Jones did to Raiders receiver, Amari Cooper, following a long run in which Cooper blocked Jones downfield, Jones then takes Cooper to the ground, sits on his chest after the play was blown dead, rips Cooper's helmet off and them smashes Cooper's head into his own helmet.
For this, the Bengals and Jones received nothing. The Raiders had a holding penalty on the play. That plus Austin Howard running downfield to defend his teammate, made it an offsetting penalty and they simply replayed the down as if nothing happened.
Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is not happy about it, nor should he be. Jones not receiving a suspension for his actions won't make him happy either. And for that, the NFL's rationale is really... something.
Rational for #NFL fining but not suspending Pacman: incident on field, Bengals penalized 15 yds, didn't swing helmet, Cooper wasn't injured,— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) September 15, 2015
Let's break this down, shall we. First of all, the Bengals were not penalized 15 yards. As I said, it was offsetting penalties due to the Raiders' defending their teammate. The difference is, they all had their helmets securely fastened in their shoving match.
So, after Jones ripped off Cooper's helmet, he didn't swing it, so no biggie. Here is what Rule 12, Section 2, Article 15 on the rules of player conduct states:
A player may not use a helmet (that is no longer worn by anyone) as a weapon to strike, swing at,
or throw at an opponent.
Penalty: For illegal use of helmet as a weapon: Loss of 15 yards and automatic disqualification.
It clearly states if the helmet is used to "strike" a player or use it "as a weapon" it's an automatic disqualification.
Disqualification didn't happen, which means that player is subject to a possible suspension upon further review.
Let's look at it this way; Would a rock be any less of a weapon if you were to hit someone with it rather than take that person's head and hit the rock? And that's to say nothing of simply making physical contact with a helmetless player after the whistle.
But since he didn't get injured, it's cool.
I think the answer is simple. The fault here clearly lies in Amari Cooper on this one. Damn you, Amari, why don't you get injured more easily? If only you had writhed around on the ground like a soccer player and had them haul you out the game secured on a gurney, they might have taken this more seriously.
This is your fault Amari. Call it a rookie mistake. Outdid by the crafty veteran Pac Man Jones.