The officials flagged Colts linebacker Erik Walden 15 yards for unnecessary roughness during the second quarter of Thursday’s Colts-Titans game for headbutting tight end Delanie Walker, but allowed him to stay in the game:
At the very least, Walden figures to face a fine from the league, and he could be suspended for Indianapolis’ Week 12 game at Arizona. Houston’s Antonio Smith had to sit out his team’s season-opener, after the NFL handed him a one-game suspension for ripping off Richie Incognito’s helmet and swinging it at the Dolphins’ lineman during a preseason game.
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.
If the NFL did suspend Walden for one month, he would miss Week 14 against the Cincinnati Bengals, which looks like a potential matchup of division leaders.