Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward has been fined $25,000 by the NFL for his hit on Dallas wide receiver Kevin Ogletree during Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.
Ward reportedly plans to appeal.
The penalty came in the fourth quarter on the second play of the Cowboys last-minute drive to the game-tying field goal. On a deep pass down the right side, Ward hit Olgetree with his shoulder, forcing the receiver’s helmet to crash into the helmet of Browns defensive back Buster Skrine. Both Skrine and Ogletree left the game with concussions.
“I hit him in the chest,” Ward said in published reports after the game. “I may have rose a little bit, but I didn’t have any contact with his helmet. When you have helmet-to-helmet contact, you feel it even if you're the one delivering the hit.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur addressed Ward’s play and what the coaches are doing to help the third-year safety in his Monday press conference.
“We talk to (T.J.) about the rules,” Shurmur said. “In those situations, let me be very clear and I know the rule here, a defenseless player, you cannot hit him with your head in the head. Either players head cannot be involved. I think that’s what he (Ed Hochuli) was saying based on what he was officiated. If you’re catching the football and I came to tackle you, I can’t hit you with my head and I can’t hit you in the head.”
This is the second time that Ward has been fined. He was docked $15,000 in his rookie season for knocking out Cincinnati receiver Jordan Shipley.
(Photo by ClevelandBrowns.com)
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