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NFL fines Lavonte David for unpenalized helmet throw

Chris Simms explains why he foresees Tom Brady and the Buccaneers trouncing all over Matt Ryan and the Falcons in Week 2.

The opening game of the season featured Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David removing his helmet and throwing it onto the ground after failing to make an interception on a third-down Dallas play in the red zone, with Tampa leading, 14-13. No flag was thrown. A financial penalty, however, has been imposed.

The NFL has announced that David has been fined $12,875 for unsportsmanlike conduct for the helmet throw.

Some had argued that the play should not have been penalized because it’s a foul only if the helmet is removed as part of a celebration, demonstration, or confrontation. It seemed clear at the moment, however, that it was a demonstration of frustration. The league agreed.

As one source with knowledge of the application of the rule recently told PFT, removing the helmet and throwing it in frustration has always been a foul.

Which brings us back to the fact that the Cowboys should have had a fresh set of downs, instead of settling for a field goal. Which brings me back to the point that a sky judge/booth umpire could have supplied the extra set of eyes to spot the foul, when the officials on the field obviously failed to do so.

Although bad calls made at the end of a game get far more attention because the bright line between mistake and outcome is more obvious, bad calls made at any point in the game can potentially influence the outcome. The Cowboys could have had seven instead of three -- and that could have made a real difference in the final score.