Buccaneers S Whitehead fined for hit on Mayfield

Buccaneers rookie safety Jordan Whitehead was fined $26,739 on Saturday for his hit on Browns rookie QB Baker Mayfield.

The league said Whitehead was fined for unnecessary roughness.

With about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Mayfield scrambled and gained 35 yards on a second and 26 play. As Mayfield began to slide, Whitehead dove at him helmet first.

However, no penalty was enforced on the play even though two flags were thrown.

After the officiating crew discussed the play, referee Shawn Hochuli said there no penalty on the play since “the quarterback was still a runner and therefore is allowed to be hit in the head. He had not yet begun to slide.”

Following Tampa Bay’s 26-23 overtime win, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter said Hochuli did not provide him with a good explanation for both flags being thrown.

On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the NFL believed Whitehead should have been assessed a penalty on the play.

According to the ESPN report, Whitehead could have received penalties for unnecessary roughness for a hit to the head of a sliding player, or unsportsmanlike conduct for using his helmet to hit a player

A fourth-round pick out of Pittsburgh, Whitehead has 19 tackles in five games this season.

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