Friday, December 7, 2012
Dockett's punishment and other notes
By Mike Sando
A few NFC West notes wrapping up this Friday heading into Week 14:
- On the Dockett: Mike Jurecki of XTRA Sports 910 AM is hearing Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett could face a six-figure fine and limited playing time against Seattle as punishment for his actions during a 7-6 defeat to the New York Jets. Dockett and safety Kerry Rhodes denied a report that Dockett had spit in Rhodes' face late in the game. Dockett has acknowledged he disagreed with coaches' late-game orders to let the Jets score a touchdown so that the Arizona offense could get the ball back with a chance to tie the game. Players obviously cannot defy in-game coaching orders. Arizona must make that clear through its actions. This incident strengthens perceptions some of the Cardinals' defensive leaders, notably Dockett, are much better equipped to lead the team when winning than when things are going poorly. However, the defense has continued to play well despite the team's eight-game losing streak. That counts for something too.
- No fine for Wright: The NFL did not fine Chicago Bears safety Major Wright for hitting Seattle Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice in the back of the helmet on the final play of overtime in Week 13. Rice had caught the ball, turned upfield and was moving across the goal line when Wright lowered his head and shoulder. Wright's shoulder struck Rice's helmet as both went low. Rules prohibit such hits on defenseless players. The NFL defines defenseless players as, among other things, "a receiver attempting to catch a pass or who has completed a catch and has not had time to protect himself or has not clearly become a runner." Rice was not a defenseless player by those standards, in my view. Also, this was not a helmet-to-helmet hit. I think that explains why there was no fine.
- Another non-fine: St. Louis disputed a roughing-the-passer penalty against the Rams' Robert Quinn. The NFL agreed with the Rams. There was no fine levied in this case.
- A few fines: The NFL fined Brian Urlacher ($21,000), NaVorro Bowman ($10,000) and Dashon Goldson ($7,875) for penalties involving roughness. The fine amounts are collectively bargained. All fine money goes to charities.
- Late injury news: The 49ers expect to be without receiver Mario Manningham on Sunday. Manningham has a shoulder injury. Rookie first-round pick A.J. Jenkins figures to become relevant on game day for the first time in the NFL. Rookie second-round choice LaMichael James also appears closer to contributing.
Here's hoping the rest of your Friday treats you well.