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September 29, 2019

NFL should discipline Andrew Sendejo for reckless 'friendly fire' shot on Avonte Maddox

It would be way out of the ordinary for the NFL to fine a player for hitting his own teammate, as Andrew Sendejo did Thursday night, when he recklessly took out Avonte Maddox with a helmet to helmet shot that left Maddox laying on the field for several minutes before a stretcher took him away. But they should. 

You all saw the play, but for the sake of posterity, here's Sendejo launching himself with the crown of his helmet into what he thinks will be Packers tight end Robert Tonyan. Instead, because he has his head down and has no idea what he's hitting, he takes out Maddox instead. 

This is nothing new for Sendejo, who has objected in the past to the NFL's efforts to make the game safer. 

On the one hand, many fans have become frustrated by officials perhaps overprotecting players, particularly in regard to weak roughing the passer fouls. Those gripes are often valid. Headhunting defenseless receivers, on the other hand, is completely unacceptable, and Sendejo has a history of it.

He was suspended for this hit on Mike Wallace in 2017:


Here's a crown of the helmet shot on Adam Humphries:


Here, again, he has no idea what he's hitting and he takes out teammate Everson Griffen: 


Here's a dangerous crown of the helmet head shot that leaves Cameron Brate unable to get up momentarily. He got fined $24,309 for this hit: 


Here he is with a helmet to helmet shot on a defenseless Davante Adams. He got fined $53,482 for this one, as a repeat offender:


Sendejo has been suspended once and fined multiple times since 2017 for reckless, and often dirty shots. That discipline doesn't seem to be changing his recklessness on the field, and the NFL should fine him harshly, regardless of whether he takes out a teammate or an opponent.

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