Chicago Bears rookie linebacker Jon Bostic has reportedly been fined for his massive hit on San Diego Chargers wide receiver Mike Willie during last week's Thursday Night Football preseason contest.
Shaking my head moment. Nfl fines jon bostic 21k for his clean hit against the chargers.— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) August 21, 2013
You can check out GIFs of the play in question below:
UPDATE: Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 11:03 p.m. ET
"The Bostic hit is illegal because he used the crown of his helmet to deliver a forcible blow to the body of the receiver. For this hit to be legal, he has to get the helmet to the side and use the shoulder to deliver the blow, or hit the receiver with his head up. Those are the two techniques that we are trying to get back in the game. So using the crown to deliver the blow to the body, that is a foul when you're talking about a hit on a defenseless player."
---End of update---
The star linebacker pointed out that while Bostic's hit was deemed illegal, Willie did not get injured. On the flip slide, Briggs called attention to the fact that Miami Dolphins tight end Dustin Keller will be out for the season after a legal tackle caused serious injury to his right knee.
Bostic's hit illegal. Hit on dustin keller. Legal.— Lance Briggs (@LanceBriggs) August 21, 2013
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport confirmed the report and noted that the fine was levied because Bostic lowered his head on a defenseless player's body.
Bostic violated: RULE 12, SECTION 2, ARTICLE 7 (b) (2)Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture.— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) August 21, 2013
However, Bostic did not violate new crown of the helmet outside tackle box rule, per source.— Jeff Dickerson (@ESPNChiBears) August 21, 2013
Although it appears that Willie fumbled after taking that shot in the third quarter of that game, referees actually whistled the pass incomplete. Officials also decided the hit was clean and didn't flag the play on the field.
The $21,000 fine will hurt Bostic financially more that it would for most NFL players, as the second-round selection isn’t exactly earning good money by league standards just yet.
Do you think Bostic's hit was legal?
Dickerson points out that the Florida product is only set to make $405,000 in base salary for the season, although he was granted a signing bonus of roughly $1.25 million.
If Bostic appeals, the case will be sure to draw national attention. Tackling rules have been hotly debated amongst fans and players alike in recent years, and the ambiguity therein has caused a lot of confusion regarding what defines a legal hit.
Instead of being rewarded for his crushing and seemingly lawful hit on Willie, Bostic is now incurring the wrath of the league office and could lose over five percent of his salary this season.