One of many questionable calls in the Ravens' loss to the Jaguars Monday night came when safety Bernard Pollard was flagged for a hit on Jacksonville running back Deji Karim.
The hit appeared legal, but Pollard was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver, and instead of having to punt on what would have been a fourth down, the Jaguars' drive got extended and eventually resulted in a Josh Scobee field goal.
Pollard said today that he hasn't heard anything from the league office yet and doesn't expect to get fined, but the six-year veteran shared his thoughts on the penalty.
"I think at the end of the day, the league is trying to protect players, but at the same time ... this is a sport that's violent," Pollard said. "You can't say, 'Go get in a car crash, but be careful.' You can't do that. We know and understand that this is a car crash every single play. We know how to take care of our bodies as far as what's a violent shot and what's a necessary violent shot. So, football is football.
"If you ask me to go do it again this Sunday, I'm doing the same thing. So they're going to either keep flagging us, or they're going to have to do something about this rule."
A couple of Pollard's teammates called the hit "textbook" in that the safety led with his shoulder and not his helmet, and delivered the hit to Karim's chest. Part of Pollard's facemask hit Karim's facemask, but it was by no means a helmet-to-helmet hit. Still, the hit drew a flag and a 15-yard penalty.
Pollard suggested that if the league continues down this road, defensive players would have to start hitting below the waist to ensure that they don't get fined, which could lead to even more injuries.
"With these rules that they're putting in, you're going to get guys hurt," Pollard said. "When you tell a guy don't hit in the chest ... we know you can't hit in the head, but don't hit in the chest either. So now what everybody's going to start doing is going at people's knees, because you've got to bring them down someway, somehow. Now when you get those hits on the knees, you're going to have guys going out. Are they going to make this flag football?
"We know we can't take the face shots because you've got the concussions and everything else, but you can't shut us off and tell us we can't hit the chest or we can't lead in with the shoulder and hit them in the shoulder or the chest."
Following this afternoon's practice, linebacker Ray Lewis suggested that if the league is going to have a review system in place for scoring plays and changes of possession, they should expand that system and allow officials to take a second look at hits delivered by defensive players.
Pollard agreed with Lewis' idea.
"I think that's what they need to start doing," Pollard said. "You've got to start reviewing these hits, because you have some guys that are malicious and do want to take out guys, going helmet-to-helmet or shoulder-to-helmet, while you've got guys that are coming out here just fighting for their team.
"Like I said, I'm gonna do it again Sunday."