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Hitting it head-on

10/18/2010

Helmet-to-helmet hits will be a big topic this week. Sunday was scary. The headline play came in the Philadelphia-Atlanta game, when Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson and Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson had a helmet-to-helmet collision that knocked both players out of the game. After the game, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told USA Today he would like a leaguewide review, with thoughts of stiffer penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits.

"We've got to protect players and penalize players who issue concussions," Lurie said.

Browns receiver Josh Cribbs suffered a concussion and couldn't return after a helmet-to-helmet hit from Steelers linebacker James Harrison that Browns players thought was borderline.

"I don't know, I heard guys talking afterwards," Browns left tackle Joe Thomas said. "I don't know if it was head-to-head, head-to-shoulder. They didn't call it."

Chargers linebacker Kevin Burnett appeared to use his helmet on a sack of Rams quarterback Sam Bradford with less than three minutes left in the first half of the Rams' 20-17 win. There was no flag, but expect a fine when the league reviews the hit.

The NFL is growing increasingly concerned about concussions and helmet hits. The league has come a long way since 2009, when Roethlisberger was criticized by teammates for not playing because of a concussion. Now, players with concussions have to go through plenty of tests just to get back on the field. Still, when it comes to concussions and helmet hits, the NFL still has a long way to go.