During the second quarter of Thursday night's Week 11 victory over the Tennessee Titans, the former Green Bay Packer, who joined the Colts organization during the free-agency period this past March, head-butted a helmet-less Delanie Walker. It happened just moments after a Chris Johnson run.
At the end of the play, Walden ripped off Walker's helmet. He immediately raised his arms and got in Walden's face, and that's when the head-butt occurred.
Walker retaliated by swinging at Walden, but the two were separated before the scuffle escalated further.
Walden was flagged for unnecessary roughness, but neither player was penalized despite the replay showing both could have been sent to the locker room early.
The NFL made the correct decision by suspending Walden. Although he has a clean history, head-butting someone with no helmet is intolerable.
Erik Walden should have been ejected. No excuse for headbutting a helmetless player.— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) November 15, 2013
Luckily, Walker wasn't injured, and he took the head-butt more in the face than to the forehead or skull.
Did the NFL make the right decision suspending Erik Walden?
While this somewhat appalling behavior by Walden may have just been a product of the heat of the moment, the league can't have its players acting out toward an opponent in an especially vulnerable situation with serious safety concerns a hot topic right now.
It must send a clear message that head-butts to helmet-less players have no place in the NFL. All personal foul penalties after the whistle should be reviewed, and if it's deemed that a player intentionally tried to physically harm another after a play is blown dead, fines and suspensions must be levied.
Erik Walden might not be a dirty player, but he acted in such a way against Delanie Walker, and his suspension is warranted.