Posted November 15, 2013

Watch: Colts’ Erik Walden could face fine or suspension after headbutting Delanie Walker

AFC South, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans
Erik Walden

Walden was signed as a free agent as part of an offseason spending spree by the Colts. (Orlando Ramirez/ Icon SMI)

Somehow, the Colts’ Erik Walden was allowed to stay in Thursday night’s game after ripping the helmet off Tennessee’s Delanie Walker and then headbutting him in the chin. Walden may not be so fortunate in the coming days, as the NFL almost certainly will hand down some sort of punishment for the transgression.

Walker and Walden were engaged on a run play when Walden grabbed Walker’s face mask and tossed his helmet several yards downfield. Walker threw his arms out in disgust, then walked toward Walden to exchange words — at which point Walden delivered a clear headbutt.

The officials flagged Walden 15 yards for unnecessary roughness but allowed him to stay in the game.

“That’s dirty play, there is no need for stuff like that in the NFL,” Walker told ESPN.com. “If you’re getting your butt kicked, get your butt kicked. Don’t rip somebody’s helmet off and then head butt them. I’m surprised he didn’t get ejected.”

That penalty was the third straight play on which Indianapolis have been hit with a personal foul flag. Robert Mathis received a questionable roughing the passer call for a hit on Titans QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, then Cassius Vaughn was penalized during a tussle with Kendall Wright.

While both of those plays may have been borderline calls, the one on Walden was obvious and should have resulted in an ejection. Walker’s response — a punch to Walden’s helmet — also could have warranted an ejection, though the Titans’ tight end was not flagged for his role in the play.

“It was a selfish act,” Walden said, per Paul Kuharsky. “It could have cost my team bigger than I did. I lost my composure. It something that can’t happen. It wasn’t really something he did, it was ticky-tack. I can’t allow myself to take it that far.”

At the very least, Walden figures to face a fine from the league, and he could be suspended for Indianapolis’ Week 12 game at Arizona. Houston’s Antonio Smith had to sit out his team’s season-opener, after the NFL handed him a one-game suspension for ripping off Richie Incognito’s helmet and swinging it at the Dolphins’ lineman during a preseason game. Walden’s actions may be considered comparable in their illegality.

70 comments
Wojo1
Wojo1

Two dirty plays on one snap, if that doesn't call for ejection what does? Here comes the fine..............

SkipKotkins
SkipKotkins

Absolutely astonishing that with all the ticky-tack penalties the refs are calling this year on stuff that is incidental and results in no harm, something like this.......two fouls....ripping the helmet off by the facemask and then the headbutt......doesn't draw an ejection. If the Refs are serious about protecting the players, then they have to be consistent. 

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

Stupid play that should have gotten Walden ejected.  That said, how stupid is Walker to get in someone's face while helmetless?  Give a thug an opening like that is just an idiotic act on Walker's part.

nycsteelersfan
nycsteelersfan

Delanie Walker is a softy soft soft punk.  I'm only disappointed that he didn't get head butted ten times.

ScottMartin
ScottMartin

as an Indy fan this is rally the first malignant act I've seen from a colts player in years. suspend this guy, at least a game. we have no room for this garbage in our classy organization.

TheBalls
TheBalls

Relax.  This stuff has always happened, not to this extent every time, but it has happened.  It is more the media blowing every little thing up and letting it float around until everyone has an opinion about it.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

The NFL seems determined to destroy itself. Week by week, game by game, it loses more credibility. It will catch up to them eventually.  Not next year, not in five years. But it will happen because we will decide to stop putting up with the absurd behavior of the players, coaches and commissioners. 

CBone
CBone

Hypocritical league with thug approving policies. Definitely not role models for your children.

RandallAllen
RandallAllen

Erik Walden should have been tossed.  The NFL preaches "player safety" then does nothing when a player head-butts another who's not wearing a helmet.  Come on, man!!

SupplyingEventualConvicts
SupplyingEventualConvicts

Punch? Looked like a 2-handed shove to a still-helmeted LB in response to assault, but whatever.

jackdeelee
jackdeelee

Surprising it wasn't an ejection, but you can calm the rage, it wasn't that bad and he doesn't really need suspended even one game, let alone the rest of the season. Too many sports fans looking for a whipping boy for some reason.

Cranky24/7
Cranky24/7

Hey - not to worry - just part of the locker room culture.......oops, wrong excuse

Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

I'm a Colts fan and i agree Walden should have been immediately ejected. If i was Pagano i would have voluntarily pulled him, benched him, and not let him play for rest of season.  If i could i would release him.  No place for that in any sport. 

R C1
R C1

The Walden play was disgusting.

The Mathis call was weird considering they called it a blow to the head and you can see about two inches of daylight between mathis and the QB's head.  The Cassius call was mystifying as he didn't even do anything.

NebojsaTodorovic
NebojsaTodorovic

That move was on par with the worst that we've seen from Suh.  I'd expect a 6 figure fine coming next week.

This is the Colts year.  They've had several games where they were allowed to commit penalties when their opponent was flagged for the very same transgression, often in either the previous or following possession. 

beast
beast

He should be suspended for the rest of the year.

j7apple
j7apple

Wow, how do these refs let him stray in the game?

JackRickowicz
JackRickowicz

@Shane Mac His helmet was twenty yards down the field, thanks to Walden.  By the time he ran and got it, it would have been halftime

CharlesJosephRhoades
CharlesJosephRhoades

@nycsteelersfan  Shut Up! How dare you applaud that horrendous act. I don't care if it's your team or any other team in the NFL, that garbage does not need to be done to anyone. Ripping his helmet off and then headbutting him was a pathetic act and he needs to be punished. Players have gotten punishment for lesser things, this guy deserves what he gets.

COLTSnHEELS
COLTSnHEELS

@ScottMartin Completely agree, there is no room on the Colts team for this...Hoosiers pride themselves on hospitality and that should be the only take away people get when they see someone representing Indiana.

He deserves what he gets out of it and we will just have to battle through.

wi_hoosier
wi_hoosier

@TheBalls

 I was very, very, very disappointed in Walden's action. It was not befitting of a Colt.

ITATTRACTS
ITATTRACTS

@TheBalls helmet off yes, happens all the time. head butting a guy while your helmet is still on? nah, that stuff hasn't "always happened". 

JackRickowicz
JackRickowicz

@Rickapolis All true, but next October 1 they'll dress in pink again, because they care so much.  

JackRickowicz
JackRickowicz

@jackdeelee You're right.  Let him play.  It's not like he does anything while he's in.  Why not force the Colts to play him on every down?  That'll teach him.

BrianBigger
BrianBigger

@jackdeelee Not that bad?  Are you on crack?  Headbutting another player with a hard plastic helmet?

Genghis_Sean
Genghis_Sean

@Jive_Turkey Colts fan here and I disagree.  There was no great harm done.  He should have been ejected because it wasn't a football play and it was classless.  Releasing him or banning him for a season is a severe overreaction.  He didn't stomp on the guy's face or target his knee.    Guys are hit harder than that repeatedly throughout the game.  He lost his cool and lashed out with no great harm done, except to his reputation, his team's field position,  and probably his pocketbook later this week.

Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

Not to mention as a player he's a hack and easily replaceable.

CalvinIkenouye
CalvinIkenouye

@R C1 Boxing fan; Walker did ball up and begin a swing, but he held back and did not follow through. Looked more like a man that's been involved in a fight before, reacting to an attack. If I was Walker I probably would have lost it. 

MyDogWally
MyDogWally

@R C1 Instead of the URL you provided, you might want to find a link to a remedial reading course and study up.  All the facts about the head-butt and the retaliation were in the article.  You were just too busy being negative in order to see it.

lenbiz68
lenbiz68

@R C1

Uh, do you know how to read?  

This is from the article:  "Walker’s response — a punch to Walden’s helmet —"


Jive_Turkey
Jive_Turkey

@R C1  it showed the ENTIRE replay numerous times. no punch was thrown.

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@R C1 Refs see the helmet move, they now assume the helmet was hit.  Replay showed mathis hit his shoulder, causing his head to move sideways as his body was knocked from under his head.  


The Walden play was the only of the 3 on that drive that was a sure thing. (and he should've been ejected)

willrwills
willrwills

@NebojsaTodorovic What??  I agree on Walden - he should be fined and suspended.  But Colts have NOT had calls going their way.

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@beast Every year players get arrested for domestic violence, drunk driving, possession of illicit substances, etc.  and they aren't suspended for the year.  There's no validation for that.

JahliSuwaghaman
JahliSuwaghaman

@j7apple The refs were wearing a lot of blinders tonight.  They missed a ton of calls on both sides.  (disclaimer, i'm a colts fan and he should've been ejected)

JackRickowicz
JackRickowicz

@MyDogWally @R C1 Wow, a teacher!  We are so lucky to have someone on the board to help us with our reading comprehension.  Never mind what the video shows.  Wally's here to set us straight.  Thanks, Bud.

wi_hoosier
wi_hoosier

@JahliSuwaghaman @R C1 

Agreed. 

I assume he didn't get ejected because the refs didn't see it... and how could they? Pags had to use a challenge just so these blind refs would see that there was 3 Titan players still on the field right in front of the Line Judge.

anon76
anon76

@R C1

I've watched one Colts game, and they got several calls (and several favorable non-calls), including a clear touchdown catch being called off (resulting in a field goal, a 4 point swing).  Can't say what's been going on in other games, but they definitely had the benefit of the doubt in that one.

JackRickowicz
JackRickowicz

@JahliSuwaghaman @beast You're right.  Besides, how is the NFL gonna out thug the NBA if they're always suspending players for doing what comes naturally?


MyDogWally
MyDogWally

@JahliSuwaghaman @j7apple The foul wasn't missed -- but the proper penalty for it wasn't administered.  That's a different issue that the ref will have to answer to.

RandallAllen
RandallAllen

@btcvsolo @JahliSuwaghaman @j7apple I used to like it when Mike Carey's crew would do a game but now it seems that when that crew works, the game is very disjointed and a lot is missed.  Much like when a crew led by Bob McIlwee worked about 20-25 years ago.