The NFL believes it missed a key penalty in Sunday’s game between Cleveland and Tampa Bay.
According to Cleveland.com, which cited an unidentified source, Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead should have been penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and could face possible discipline as a result.
The play, which is under review after being sent to NFL vice president of policy and rules administration Jon Runyon, occurred in the fourth quarter and initially drew a flag before it was picked up by the officiating crew.
After discussing the play, referee Shawn Hochuli announced “the quarterback is still a runner and therefore is allowed to be hit in the head. He had not yet begun his slide. There is no foul.”
The Bucs went on to earn a 26-23 victory in overtime.
The #NFL picked up this flag in the #Browns game after stating Baker had not yet begun his slide and therefore was “allowed to be hit in the head”🤔… Yet here is clear helmet to helmet head hunting. What a sham of a league. pic.twitter.com/DX3TwhoN0J
— Paul Congiusta (@ShiftyJuice) October 21, 2018
If the league finds the play should have resulted in a penalty, Whitehead could face a minimum fine of $26,739.
The Browns (2-4-1) will continue their road trip when they visit the Steelers (3-2-1) in Week 8, while the Bucs (3-3) head North to face the Bengals (4-3).