According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, Golden Tate has been informed that he will be fined for his massive block of Dallas Cowboy Linebacker Sean Lee.
The fact that Tate was fined is likely to upset some Seahawk fans, but to me it seems like the right thing to do with the way the rules are written. It wasn’t intentional by any means, but Tate’s helmet did come into contact with Lee’s helmet, and all helmet to helmet collisions of that type will warrant a fine in today’s NFL.
What I do disagree with in the NFL.com report is the suggestion that the fine will likely be $21,000 for a “blindside” hit. Tate’s hit was not, in any way, a blind side hit. He came from beside Lee, and was able to get his full body in front of Lee and then come back into Lee’s body for the big hit. I’ve seen the play from every angle available, and it simply just does not fit the rule for hitting a “defenseless” player, or for hitting a player in the “blindside.”
Instead, I believe that the only concern here is the helmet to helmet contact. As I said above, it was unintentional. Tate definitely seemed to try and go low and hit Lee in the chest. He even said so after the game, but there are definitely views in which the back of Tate’s helmet is clearly in contact with Lee’s facemask.