The NFL rule against unnecessary roughness seems a little oxymoronic. Is any roughness necessary? Or perhaps, isn’t all roughness necessary in football? No, not it is not.
Unnecessary roughness is a penalty against a player that goes above and beyond what is necessary to tackle an opponent. Thus, making it unnecessary. Football doesn’t get too fancy, thankfully. This penalty is most often called on targets to the head such as collaring, grabbing facemasks, helmet to helmet contact, or headbutting.
Unnecessary roughness is a personal foul because these types of tackles have a high risk of injury to both players. The offended team is automatically awarded 15 yards or half the distance to the goal (if the penalty occurs less than 15 yards from the goal line). The NFL also reserves the right to fine players for extreme or repeat unnecessary roughness.
Last year, Baltimore led the league in unnecessary roughness calls at 15, but Super Bowl contending Carolina Panthers were right on their heels at 14. The Bears are apparently the nicest losers around as they only had 1 call on them last year. This year the Colts are leading the league with 7 penalties to their name.
Pro Tip: Don’t search “collaring gif” and expect to get football snippets.
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