Umpire Barry Anderson changed his jersey number last week to honor Chad Brown, the former umpire who left the field in 2014 and died last week. Beginning in Week 3, as seen on the Thursday night crew headed by Walt Coleman, a number 31 patch was added to their caps.
Separately, Jim Quirk, the executive director of NFL Referees’ Association, was asked three weeks ago by Football Zebras if the league had any plans to recognize former umpire Art Demmas with a commemorative patch. He said, “No one in a leadership position of the NFLRA is aware [of] any plan like the one you mentioned.”
In the first quarter of the Rams 9-3 victory over the Seahawks, Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree was flagged 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for a hit on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as he was sliding. Referee Jerome Boger and his crew were the officiating crew for the game.
As part of the league’s new points of emphasis, officials will be watching to see if the runner starts his slide before imminent contact and defenders may hit a sliding quarterback in this situation as long as they do not make contact with the head or neck area. From the gifs below, it is clear that contact was imminent but Ogletree did not make contact with Wilson’s head or neck area. Ogletree has not been fined for the hit; the flag is supported (neither graded correction nor incorrect) due to the league’s policy to err on the side of player safety as they are making these calls in games at full speed.
In Cleveland, Terrelle Pryor will apparently not be fined for his taunting foul in Sunday’s game against the Ravens. As we mentioned Sunday, the Browns receiver dropped the ball on cornerback Ladarius Webb. While this is, by rule, a taunting call, there were mitigating circumstances as it appeared that Pryor was trying to get the ball to the official. This was a judgement call by the covering officials, but those circumstances lead the NFL to not assess a fine. In this case, it doesn’t mean the call is a downgrade for the covering officials, in light of the fact that the Competition Committee has ramped up its emphasis on unsportsmanlike conduct.
According to Spotrac, the following fines were assessed:
- In the Thursday night game last week against the Bills, two Jets players were fined for their taunting fouls in that game. Receiver Eric Decker and defensive end Sheldon Richardson were both assessed a $9,115 fine.
- Raiders punter Marquette King made a last-ditch attempt to tackle Falcons returner Michael Weems and brought him down by a horse-collar tackle (video). He was fined $18,231.
- Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct foul for exiting the bench and entering a skirmish area at the end of the play. He was fined $12,154.
- Panthers receivers Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin were flagged for a choreographed celebration, which resulted in a fine of $12,154 for each.
- Roughing the passer fines were assessed on Packers defensive lineman Mike Daniels ($18,231), Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks ($18,231), and Broncos safety Darian Stewart ($9,115)
- Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore was hit with a $9,115 facemask fine.
- Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave was fined for a horse-collar tackle for $18,231