NFL reveals limited punishment on Daniel Sorensen’s controversial hit

Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, NFL Playoffs

The NFL is not getting too involved with Kansas City Chiefs safety Daniel Sorensen’s hit on Rashard Higgins. 

It’s fine to say the Kansas City Chiefs won in the AFC Divisional Round because it’s true. It’s also fine to say the Cleveland Browns had their fair share of bad breaks.

During the second quarter, Rashard Higgins tried to score a crucial touchdown for the Browns’ offense. Instead, he was met by Chiefs’ safety Daniel Sorensen whose hit at the pylon jarred the ball free. The ball rolled out of the end zone, leading to a touchback in favor of Kansas City.

The ruling in the NFL of a touchback is already controversial enough. There’s also the hit Sorensen delivered, clearly looking like a helmet-to-helmet play that should have been penalized.

While the play will be under review for a possible fine, Sorensen will not be getting suspended by the league in preparation for the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills later this week.

Did the NFL get the call right?

By ruling, if the crown of the helmet touches another player, that is a penalty. Sorensen clearly is leading with his head and whether intentional or not, it was a missed call by the referees.

The Browns had their chance for a comeback following the departure of Patrick Mahomes due to concussion protocol. A challenge against Tyreek Hill left Cleveland without a timeout late to have a chance to complete the comeback. Instead, Chad Henne dove forward on fourth and inches to clinch the 22-17 victory.

It will be interesting to see how the NFL answers for this decision. If fair is fair, Sorensen should be fined just as Mack Wilson should for his hit on Mahomes. Even if Wilson is left without a fine, there’s evidence that Sorensen’s hit, albeit not intentional, was illegal on Higgins.

NFL officiating has been known for making plenty of mistakes, but this is one that will be hard to justify if some type of punishment isn’t handed out.

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