NFL's answer to its suspension problem – New York Post

A trio of suspensions from this past week have sparked more outrage about the lack of consistency with NFL discipline.

The NFL has a plan … to consider a plan, that might help.

Troy Vincent, executive vice president of football operations for the NFL, announced Tuesday that the league will consider a “targeting” rule and re-examine how “non-football acts” are punished. The non-football acts part of this is in response to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski being suspended for one game after a brutal hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White that was egregiously and amittedly late.

There was some outrage at the lack of severity for Gronkowski’s actions, especially after the NFL had announced two-game suspensions for Michael Crabtree and Aqib Talib (before both were reduced to one on appeal). Then came a pair of nasty hits in the Bengals-Steelers game on Monday Night Football.

JuJu Smith-Schuster was suspended for a game after making helmet-to-helmet contact on a crackback block and then standing over Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict to taunt him after the play.

Later in the game, Bengals safety George Iloka nailed Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown with a helmet-to-helmet hit after he caught a game-tying touchdown. Iloka was also suspended for one game, but his punishment was reduced to a fine Wednesday. Smith-Schuster’s suspension was upheld.

Both Smith-Schuster and Iloka were flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, but neither was ejected from the game. That is where a potential targeting rule could come into play.

The targeting rule has many opponents in college football, and officials have had trouble with consistency when it comes to applying it. Here is the rule:

No player shall target and make forcible contact to the head or neck area of a defenseless opponent with the helmet, forearm, hand, fist, elbow or shoulder. 

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