Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden has learned that he will be suspended one game for his actions against the Titans last Thursday night. The incident happened when Walden ripped off Delanie Walker’s helmet and then proceeded to headbutt him. He should have been ejected from the game immediately, but the refs allowed him to play the rest of the game.
“You have to keep your cool. We talked about it as soon as he got off the field. I talked to all those guys. No matter how frustrated you are, no matter how the game is going, no matter what the guy did to you, you cannot retaliate. You have to keep your composure. You have to keep your poise no matter what. He knows that. Erik is a grown man. He’s accountable, and he understands that. He doesn’t want to do anything to hurt this team.” – Chuck Pagano
Initially, the speculation was that Walden would receive a large fine for his actions, but would be able to avoid a suspension. The NFL looked into the incident and decided that it was bad enough that Walden deserved a suspension, especially due to the fact that he was not ejected from the game. Erik Walden can appeal the suspension, but that does not appear to be very likely at this time.
“That’s dirty play, there is no need for stuff like that in the NFL. If you’re getting your butt kicked, get your butt kicked. Don’t rip somebody’s helmet off and then head-butt them. I’m surprised he didn’t get ejected.” - Delanie Walker
Walker does have a very valid point, but he did instigate the issue in the first place by being very aggressive after the play was over. Walden is getting a very deserved suspension, but Walker certainly didn’t try to walk away from the matter either. We won’t go so far as to say that Walden was justified in doing what he did, but he also can’t sit back and allow Walker to push and shove him post whistle.
All that being said, the Colts will be without one of their most talented pass-rushers against the Arizona Cardinals next week. He will be missed, but he’ll learn a lesson from this incident and come back with a renewed fire to help his teammates win football games.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Pro Sports Extra. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.