The NFL will not suspend Washington Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker after determining that Baker’s hit on Eagles quarterback Nick Foles during Sunday’s game in Philadelphia was legal, a top league executive said Tuesday.
“Baker didn’t do anything wrong with that hit,” said Troy Vincent, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations. “When you look at the rule, he didn’t do anything illegal. People can say it’s a cheap shot and you can talk about whether it might fall under unsportsmanlike conduct. But when you know the rule and you look at the play, he didn’t hit him in the head. He didn’t hit him in the neck. We looked at it. I looked at it very closely. He’s not going to be fined for that.”
Baker will remain eligible to play in the Redskins’ game Thursday night against the New York Giants at FedEx Field.
Vincent did not rule out the possibility of Baker being among the players who will be fined by the league for their roles in the fight between Eagles and Redskins players that followed Baker’s hit on Foles, which came on the return of an apparent interception thrown by Foles. No players will be suspended, Vincent said.
“The fight part of it, that’s easy,” Vincent said in a telephone interview in which he discussed the meeting that he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had with former players Tuesday in New York about potential changes to the sport’s personal conduct policy. “Those are non-debatable. You can look at it and tell for yourself. Those are just fines [rather than suspensions].”
Baker and Eagles left tackle Jason Peters were ejected from the game. The Eagles called Baker’s hit on Foles a cheap shot, and officials called a penalty on Baker for the hit during the game. But Baker maintained he’d done nothing wrong.
Under NFL rules, a quarterback is considered a defenseless player after throwing an interception and cannot be hit by an opposing player in the head or neck area. Baker delivered a blind-side block on Foles but the league determined that Baker did not make contact with Foles in the quarterback’s head or neck.
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