Minutes after Lance Briggs was flagged for unnecessary roughness on a seemingly clean hit that leveled Lions WR Calvin Johnson Sunday evening, NFL officials were scrambling as it finally became clear the league no longer had the ability to distinguish a dirty hit from a clean one.
“That hit certainly looked clean, but I’ve seen a bunch of hits in this game that probably weren’t but didn’t get flagged,” said commissioner Roger Goodell. “I’m pretty sure we now have absolutely no idea what a clean hit is anymore.”
Goodell has publicly tried to “clean up” the game in recent years, leveling huge fines on players for hits that would have been on a highlight real just a few seasons earlier. As a result of this hysteria, Goodell is now concerned referees and players no longer know what is legal and what isn’t.
“Let’s be honest, there’s a fine line between clean and dirty and we’ve completely lost sight of it,” said Goodell. “We’ll try to get it figured out, but in the meantime guys like Lance Briggs should expect the fines to keep coming, clean hits or not.”