FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons safety Chris Hope is expecting to receive a little express package from the league office Thursday.
Hope was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty for a helmet-to-helmet tackle of New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz on Sunday. All unnecessary roughness penalties are automatically reviewed for fines.
On a third-and-4 from New York’s 26-yard line with 10:17 left in the third quarter, Hope leveled Cruz, who was running down the left side of the field. The gamebook read, “No Play. Blow to the head.”
“Hopefully, I won’t (be fined) but there are rules and regulations,” Hope said. “I’m not a dirty player. It was just a part of the game. I got caught in a situation where I just made a play on the ball. It was a hit that I didn’t think was head-to-head, but it’s probably going to be a fine.”
After later reviewing the film of the play, Hope admitted that he did get Cruz’s helmet.
The league, in an effort to improve player safety, is cracking down on helmet-to-helmet tackling. Players are also being advised to lower their tackling target areas.
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