As halftime neared in Baltimore’s 40-0 blowout win against Miami on Thursday, Joe Flacco scrambled, ran upfield and slid. Normal play.
Only it wasn’t. Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso leveled Flacco on the way down. Flacco was concussed and did not return.
Was Alonso’s hit dirty?
“Was Joe sliding late? Sure. But when you look at it, you’re almost in a position where you have to anticipate (as a defender),” Super Bowl champion and Ravens analyst Qadry Ismail said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “And this is where the purists or a lot of defensive guys are going to disagree with me. You can disagree with me all you want, but if Kiko is a lot lighter in the pocket, then I guess that means I’m right. That being said, you got to (anticipate). ‘Okay, he’s a quarterback, I’m coming up, I’m about to make this hit. If you don’t slide, (I’m going to hit you). Okay, you slid. Okay, good. Now I’m going to go ahead and hold up.’”
Alonso, however, didn’t do that.
“Kiko Alonso, the full force of his hit, he just went through Joe, into his head, knocked his helmet off and split his ear,” Ismail said. “Maybe in my day that was a jacked-up type of hit and everybody would have been just praising him and then they would have been sitting there trying to question Joe’s toughness if he could or could not have come back. But this is not then. This is now. We know better, and he knows better. I hope the league will fine him and/or suspend him accordingly. It is 2017. It is not 1997. This isn’t where you’re going to get the guy on the sideline and give him some smelling salts. We know what the concussion protocols is all about. You have the game legislated differently than you did back then.”
Ismail, who played in the NFL from 1993 to 2002, said the NFL will take Alonso’s history into account when determining his punishment.
“My first reaction is, yes, suspend him,” Ismail said, “but I’m sure what is going to happen is they’re going to look at his history. It’s not Ndamukong Suh. Ndamukong might get maybe a three-game suspension because of his history, but I don’t know Kiko Alonso’s history. Is that something that he’s been known to do before and they’ve warned him before or they fined him before? Obviously the more you do something, the stiffer the penalty. As of now, we have to wait and see. I’m sure they’re going to make sure that whatever is handed down to him is fair and just.”