Biggs: NFL comes down hard on Panthers' Wesley
Dante Wesley will get a week’s vacation—unpaid—for his vicious hit on Tampa Bay return man Clifton Smith on Sunday.
Wesley was penalized and ejected from the game for the hit, which came while the punt was still in the air. Wesley, a veteran special teams ace, launched himself at Smith, and the league wasted little time in reacting, saying the returner was defenseless. Wesley will be suspended for the Panthers’ game vs. Buffalo on Sunday.
The league wrote: “The playing rules (Rule 10, Section 1, Article 1) specifically provide that a member of the kicking team is prohibited from interfering with a receiver attempting to catch an airborne kick. The prohibited contact in this case went well beyond simply interfering with the receiver. Instead, by striking your defenseless opponent in the head and neck area, you committed an unnecessary and unnecessarily dangerous act that is specifically prohibited by the rules.
“Your actions are of particular concern in light of the emphasis that our office has placed on developing and enforcing rules designed to protect players from injury, including head and neck injuries. The safety of our players is paramount to all of us in the NFL.”
Perhaps if Tom Cable had launched himself at Randy Hanson, the league would have taken action against him by now.
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