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Too many ejections in Week 1



The NFL officials had to issue too many ejections in Week 1. Of the three, two were for unsportsmanlike conduct and one was due to a flagrant helmet foul.

One of the first games of the day features a disqualification

The yellow laundry starting flying early in Jacksonville. Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack threw a punch at a Chiefs’ player and back judge Matt Edwards, in his second year, issued the disqualifying foul.

And after that, Jack completely lost control of himself and could face a suspension. Team mates and umpire Mark Pellis had to restrain him from going after referee Carl Cheffers.

Robinson gets the gate for kicking the face of an opponent

Cleveland Browns’ tackle Greg Robinson kicked at an opponent. This was blatant, in the open and one of the easiest calls of the day for Brad Allen’s crew.

Alexander ejected for flagrant hit

49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander got the early gate from referee Alex Kemp’s crew as he lead with his head and delivered a forceful blow to Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston. The NFL wants these types of hits out of the game and will back its officials in throwing the flag. The centralized replay center will have a sayin if the player stays in the game or hits the showers. Al Riveron concurred that Alexander needed to go.

This is the second 49er to get tossed from a game this year (counting preseason). The crown of the helmet rule is in its second season. Last year, there weren’t any ejections due to a crown of the helmet foul. This preseason, there were several ejections for a crown of the helmet foul.

Look for more ejections due to flagrant unnecessary roughness due to centralized replay participating in the process. Traditionally, officials do not want to eject players, but Al Riveron might step in and take a more forceful role in handing out DQs. Plus, the rules take away official discretion. Many more acts today must carry a disqualification, compared to a generation ago.

I expect more ejections this year due to helmet fouls. I hope we don’t see an increase in ejections due to fighting or unsportsmanlike conduct. I hope Week 1 is an outlier.

Mark Schultz is a high school football official, freelance writer and journalist. He first became interested in officiating when he was six years old, was watching a NFL game with his father and asked the fateful question, "Dad, what are those guys in the striped shirts doing?"