Finally, some closure to one of the more controversial moments from Seattle’s 28-26 win over the Steelers last Sunday — a helmet-to-helmet hit in the fourth quarter by Pittsburgh linebacker Bud Dupree on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson.
Dupree did not get penalized on the play. But Saturday it was revealed that he has been fined $21,056 for the hit by the NFL. The league can go back and review plays that could be fine-worthy and assess fines later even if the play did not draw a penalty on the field.
Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the play would be among those the Seahawks planned to send in to the league for a review.
Wednesday, Carroll said the league had told the Seahawks that the play should have drawn a penalty. The revelation of the fine — first reported by the NFL Network — confirmed that.
Carroll said he was told that the officials on the field simply didn’t see the hit, which came on a play when Wilson threw downfield for Tyler Lockett with 8:54 left. After a review, officials determined there was pass interference on the Steelers on the play giving Seattle a first down at the Steelers’ 35. Seattle scored a touchdown for what turned out to be the winning points three plays later.
“They assessed it that if they did it again, they would’ve thought that they should’ve called it,” Carroll said. Carroll said officials didn’t see it as Dupree hit Wilson as he was rolling toward the sideline and after he threw, with the eyes of the officials apparently all following he ball.
Dupree told reporters in Pittsburgh earlier in the week that he didn’t think he was being fined but also said he had apologized to Wilson.
“It’s part of the game I guess, some things happen,” Wilson said of the play. “If he wasn’t chasing me down, I think we would’ve had a touchdown.”
When asked on Thursday if he thought Dupree should be fined, Wilson said: “I don’t know about that. I’m not talking about this and that but, he got me pretty good.”
Carroll said it was “a nice gesture” that Dupree apologized but said “I don’t blame anybody on any of that kind of stuff.”
The Seahawks were especially surprised the play didn’t draw a penalty given the league’s emphasis over the past two years on trying to eliminate hits on the quarterback. But Saturday made clear it was a play that should have drawn a flag.