The NFL believes that Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead should have been penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on QB Baker Mayfield on Sunday. Shawn Hochuli, the son of legendary NFL referee Ed Hochuli, and his officiating crew initially threw a flag on the play but picked the flag up.
After a brief discussion, Shawn Hochuli and his officiating crew decided there was no infraction on the play, citing that the QB was still considered a runner and “therefore is allowed to be hit in the head. He had not yet begun to slide” (see article here).
According to a league source, “Whitehead could have been flagged for one of two infractions: unnecessary roughness for a hit to the head of a sliding player, or unsportsmanlike conduct for using his helmet to hit a player” (see article here).
“Although the League has not made an official statement about the hit, fines are normally issued this coming Friday and if Whitehead is fined, it will be confirmation that the play should have been penalized,” says ESPN’s Pat McManamon (see article here).
The minimum fine for this infractions is $26,739