On Monday night, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy took a significant blow to the head while running a sneak. The blow to the head happened when he was struck by the helmet of Vikings linebacker Jordan Hicks.
The hit from Hicks could result in a fine.
The rules prohibit a player from lowering his head and making forcible contact with an opponent. The provision was added in 2018. It has created confusion and controversy as officials attempt to enforce it and players attempt to comply with it.
Hicks wasn’t flagged, but that’s not a surprise. It often gets missed — especially when the blow is delivered by an offensive player. In this case, the scrum of bodies makes it even harder for officials to notice the lowering of the helmet and/or the making of forcible contact in real time.
The blow was missed by the broadcast, even with the benefit of the overhead view that showed Hicks ramming Purdy with the helmet in the helmet as Purdy tried to secure a first down. On Wednesday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced that Purdy is in the concussion protocol.
The video seems to reflect a textbook violation of the rule. If Hicks is fined, it will be announced by the NFL on Saturday.