Helmet-to-Helmet Rule Questioned After McGahee Hit
The day after the Steelers win over the Baltimore Ravens, the one thing that people are talking about the most is the Willis McGahee injury caused by a devastating hit by Pittsburgh's Ryan Clark. In particular, people are questioning whether the Willis McGahee hit violated the NFL helmet-to-helmet rule that forbids head-first hits to an opponent's head.
The helmet-to-helmet rule reads as follows:
"Using any part of a player’s helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/hairline parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily; although such violent or unnecessary use of the helmet is impermissible against any opponent, game officials will give special attention in administering this rule to protect those players who are in virtually defenseless postures.”
Message boards have lit up with debate about the rule and whether Clark should have been penalized. Clearly, officials believe that Clark led with his shoulder when he plowed into the Ravens' McGahee and the video seems to back that up.
Still, many think that the issue is hardly cut and dried. To check out some online opinions, visit this thread on Pro Football Talk.
As for a McGahee injury report, it appears that the Baltimore Ravens injured player was "neurologically intact", according to a team spokesman. McGahee reportedly spent the night under observation at a Pittsburgh hospital. He had movement in all of his limbs, but McGahee appears to have suffered a neck injury.