In a near-unanimous chorus, NFL analysts criticized the 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty Coleman was flagged for and pleaded with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to not punish Coleman, despite Collie's injury -- the Indianapolis receiver suffered a concussion on the play and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher.
Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark also weighed in on the controversy via Twitter, arguing that the rules recently enacted by the NFL to protect its offensive players had gone too far.
"We can't flag people because a hit is hard. May God bless Austin Collie but that hit was not illegal. The game is ruined!" Clark (@RyanClark25) tweeted.
"Special thanks to all the media. The little league world series in now more physical than professional football. You've been heard!"
This isn't the first time Clark's been vocal about the NFL's policy on helmet-to-helmet hits. Following a brutal Week 6 that saw several players leave games with head injuries, the NFL adjusted its rules to allow for suspensions on particularly dangerous hits. Clark responded, again on Twitter:
"So the NFL wants to suspend players for helmet to helmet due to injuries, yet the NFL wants 2 more games. Make sense?"
It remains to be seen if Goodell issues any fine or suspension to Coleman, but Clark -- somewhat ironically -- could face disciplinary action himself for coming to Coleman's defense. And while Coleman may sidestep a punishment, Packers defensive back Nick Collins likely won't be so lucky. Collins was hit with a 15-yard penalty in Green Bay's Sunday night win over Dallas when he launched himself into a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cowboys receiver Roy Williams, who had to be helped off the field after lying face down for a moment.
Watch video of the hit that injured Austin Collie below.