CFL head shot penalties should be more severe

Hamilton, ON, Canada / AM900 CHML

The Ticats have finalized their 2014 roster, and there aren’t too many surprises.

Defensive back Evan McCollough is the biggest name on the list of players who have been shown the door.

He didn’t have a good preseason and was overshadowed by the play of Hamilton’s other DB’s.

Hamilton has also compiled its practice roster and has added to its injured list, which brings me to my next point.

Receiver Andy Fantuz won’t play in the Ticats season opener this Sunday in Regina after taking, what I thought, was a helmet-to-helmet hit in Toronto last week.

There was no flag on the play, just like there was no flag when Lindsey Lamar was concussed in Hamilton’s preseason opener against Montreal.

I didn’t have the luxury of seeing a replay of the hit as TSN wasn’t broadcasting the game and we didn’t have a TV feed in our broadcast booth.

But the CFL sent me a video of the hit from a couple of different angles, and after watching it a few times, it is clearly not a helmet to helmet hit.

The league has made pass interference a reviewable play and I think it’s time for the CFL to make blatant helmet-to-helmet hits reviewable.

I know the league has made great strides in protecting players, but why can’t the referee, or the video command centre, review a suspected head shot during a game?

If the hit was unavoidable, fine, but otherwise why not eject the offending player and go one step further and hand out an automatic one game suspension?

I’m afraid head shots are never going to go away, but the penalty has to be upgraded.

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