Heath Miller Hit Should Have Drawn Penalty, NFL Admits
Miller suffered a concussion when McClain delivered a high blow as Miller attempted to haul in a Ben Roethlisberger pass. As McClain hit Miller, the Steelers star's neck appeared to snap back and he immediately fell motionless to the turf. Trainers rushed to Miller's side and immobilized his head and neck.
Fortunately, after several minutes, Miller was able to walk with minimal help back to the Pittsburgh sideline. But the delay in the game allowed NBC announcers Al Michaels and particularly ex-NFL wide receiver Cris Collinsworth to wonder aloud why McClain was not flagged for a penalty on the play.
Under the NFL's strict -- and relatively new -- rules meant to protect offensive players, it is illegal to make dangerous contact on a defenseless receiver, which Miller appeared to be when McClain hit him. It's also been a major point of focus to penalize players for helmet-to-helmet contact, another infraction that McClain may have been guilty of on the play in question.
The no-call drew the ire of the Steelers, most notably James Harrison, who's now been fined $125,000 on the season for various plays. During a postgame interview with NBC's Andrea Kremer, Harrison said that he thought it wasn't a hit that deserved a penalty, but added that if he had made a similar hit, the referees definitely would have made a call.
Check out the video of McClain's hit on Miller below and judge for yourself: