Pittsburgh’s William Gay was fined $15,750 on Friday, thus confirming that last Sunday’s officiating crew missed a penalty on his hit to the head of Browns quarterback Jason Campbell.
The fine specifically was for “unnecessary roughness based on the delivery of a forcible blow to the head/neck of a quarterback in the pocket.” The fine amount was identical to the one assessed to San Francisco’s Ahmad Brooks earlier this season after his controversial hit of New Orleans’ Drew Brees.
Browns coaches all week have pleaded for the NFL to consider replay review on such calls because of the magnitude of a decision. The referees on the field had said the hit was to the shoulder of Campbell, but it was pretty clearly the head while watching again on television.
The play also represented a huge swing of events for the Steelers, who lost on Thursday to fall to 5-7. The score was 13-3 and Pittsburgh returned the ball to the goalline for an easy score moments later. A correct penalty would have kept the ball for the Browns, perhaps keeping the game within reach.
Campbell has been officially ruled as out for this Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brandon Weeden will make the start for the 4-7 Browns instead.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.