Breaking: Fines coming for Wilkerson and Coples?

NFL: New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

The league is “considering” fines for Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples, according to Adam Schefter.

The fine would come for the hit on Titans quarterback Jake Locker that knocked him out of the game with a hip injury.

Watch the play video from broadcast on NFL.com.  The slow-motion replay is at about the 0:38 mark.

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

Will a fine also be forthcoming for the safety that blasted Stephen Hill across the middle of the field?

It is a shame that Locker was injured during the game.  After three years in the league he seems to be figuring out playing quarterback in the NFL, so the timing couldn’t be any worse.  We wish Locker a quick recovery.

I can understand why the league would consider fining Wilkerson; a quarterback was injured and left the game on a play where two players hit him.  During the broadcast the announcers talked about the Wilkerson hit being being borderline late and then the announcers discussed the lowering of Wilkerson’s head.

After watching that play many times, Wilkerson certainly takes the opportunity provided.  Might Wilkerson have been able to pull up? Somewhat, but his momentum was going to carry him into the quarterback one way or another.  The refs didn’t seem to think it was a late hit.  As for the helmet, my interpretation is that Wilkerson lowered his own helmet as a way to avoid hitting Locker in his.

As far as Coples?  Yes, he was involved in the play, but his contact seemed incidental once he realized Locker was going down, but Coples did slightly lower his shoulder right before contact.  The dilemma is that it probably wasn’t Wilkerson’s hit that hurt Locker, the injury likely came when Locker’s momentum from Wilkerson’s hit forced Locker to plant his right leg which was then bumped from another direction by Coples, twisting the QB’s leg rather awkwardly.

The NFL is running out of places to hit the quarterback and sometimes an injury, however unfortunate, is still an injury.  With all that said, I expect that the league will levy some sort of fine on one or two of the Jets players in the coming days.

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