Vikings, other teams upset at NFL's decisions regarding on-field discipline
The Vikings were livid with perceived inconsistencies with player punishment this week
At a time when the NFL is openly mulling adopting something akin to the college targeting rule, and with egregious non-football acts resulting in the same discipline as suspension-worthy hits that occur in the regular run of play, several teams are privately fuming at the league office, sources said. The Vikings were most prominent this week, according to those sources, in the aftermath of several high-profile discipline decisions stemming from Week 13 games.
The Vikings lost safety Andrew Sendejo for a game early this season for a hit to the head of Ravens receiver Mike Wallace, which dislodged Wallace's helmet. Sendejo's suspension was upheld on appeal, and, after Bengals safety George Iloka had his suspension for a similar play, a powerful helmet-to-helmet hit on Antonio Brown Monday night, reduced on appeal, Vikings officials were quickly on the phone to league headquarters to lodge their complaints.
Sources said GM Rick Spielman was "livid" about the Iloka ruling, and wanted the football operations staff -- led by Troy Vincent -- to clarify or explain why the outcomes of these two discipline processes were not the same. The Vikings declined to comment for this report.
The NFL is coming increasingly under fire for how discipline is handed out, why certain players are or are not ejected, and why a head-to-head hit at full speed can result in the same ultimate disciplinary outcome as the ugliness we've seen away from the play by Rob Gronkowski and Mike Evans in recent weeks.
Vincent held a conference call with reporters last week after the appeals process was complete and said he expects the competition committee to thoroughly consider a targeting rule change as well as the rash of non-football penalties this season before making official recommendations to the teams at the ownership meetings in March.
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