Friday, November 4, 2011
No fine for game-changing roughing penalty
By Mike Sando
The NFL did not fine Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell for roughing the passer during the fourth quarter of a 30-27 defeat at Baltimore in Week 8.
Small consolation. The 15-yard penalty changed field position with 5:07 left in a tie game, setting up the Ravens' punt-coverage team to pin the Cardinals their own 2-yard line. When Arizona punted with 1:02 left, Baltimore took over at the Arizona 44. The Ravens kicked the winning field goal five plays later as time expired.
Campbell pulled down Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, but he let go as Flacco was spinning toward the ground. The absence of a fine makes a questionable call seem worse. But with the NFL encouraging officials to err on the side of player safety, officials flagged Campbell at a critical moment in the game.
In games involving NFC West teams from Week 8, nine of 11 other players flagged for penalties that sometimes draw fines also escaped financial punishment.
The San Francisco 49ers' Justin Smith and the Cleveland Browns' D'Qwell Jackson were exceptions. Smith's hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy drew a $15,000 fine. Jackson was fined $7,500 for a facemask foul against Frank Gore.
Bernard Pollard, Ray Rice, Reggie Nelson, Jason Pinkston, Charles Brown, Dashon Goldson, Brandon Browner, Brandon Lloyd and James Butler were the other players flagged for penalties that sometimes draw fines.