The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans have one of the more underrated rivalries in the NFL, and that’s been on full display tonight. Colts starting linebacker Erik Walden was penalized during the second quarter of Thursday’s Colts-Titans game for headbutting tight end Delanie Walker. Walden and Walker were tangled up after Walker blocked Walden on a running play. A frustrated Walden ripped off Walker’s helmet, so Walker walked up to Walden.
Walden responded in about as despicable and cowardly as an NFL player could:
The worst part of it was the referees saw it clear as day and still allowed Walden to stay in the game. You could have argued Walker should have been ejected as well for throwing a punch at Walden in retaliation, bot nonetheless, Walden shouldn’t be allowed to play the rest of this game, and there’s a very good chance the NFL will hand him a suspension because he wasn’t ejected from the game.
And Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk agrees, and based on previous precedents set, he believes Walden should be suspended for as long as one month:
With the league concerned about protecting player heads, the decision of one player wearing a helmet on his head to hit another player in the unhelmeted head with that helmet likely will trigger a harsh penalty.
If, for example, a cartoonish WWE arm stomp after the whistle by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh resulted in a two-game suspension in November 2011, Walden’s butt to Walker’s bare head should be met with at least that much.
The Colts entered the game averaging 3.7 penalties per game, which was the fewest in the NFL. This game will hopefully clam down in the second-half.