Sorry Texans nation, but Denzel Perryman deserved what he got. The veteran linebacker, who is in the first year with the Houston Texans, was recently suspended by the NFL for repeatedly targeting the heads of other players. When he was suspended, the reason was for the "repeated violations of playing rules intended to protect the health and safety of players", according to various outlets like Yahoo.com
Perryman appealed what was originally a three-game suspension, and was able to get hearing officer James Thrash to knock it down to two games. Thrash is an NFL and NFLPA representative who handles these types of matters. He determined that Perryman still needed to be held accountable for his actions, even if some others didn't.
But in all honesty, Perryman deserved his suspension. The rate of head injuries in the NFL is still high and guys are retiring younger or just not even persuing pro football anymore over concerns of things like concussions and CTE. And while the NFL doesn't do enough to protect the heads and brains of the players, that doesn't mean Perryman gets to skate for hitting guys in the head.
Now, that doesn't mean we think that the hit on Ja'Marr Chase, the hit that got him the suspension, wasn't a clean hit. It looked like a clean, unintended hit, as Chase started sliding as Perryman dipped his shoulders. It wasn't a dirty hit, but he still collided with his helmet into Chase's, and the rules are the rules.
So while we agree with some of the rhetoric around the situation, it's important to note that Perryman is a repeat offender who has a history of not being a safe player. As the above linked article points out, this is the sixth time he's been flagged for hitting a player in the head, so while it may not have been intentional, he still has a history of behavior that concerns the league.
While we root for the Texans to win every week, we also hope everyone leaves the field safely and as long as Perryman is tagging guys with shots to the head, intentional or otherwise, that hope for everyone to go home healthy reduces itself. If Perryman won't stop on his own, then penalties need to be applied.
More specifically, and if you want to look at this from a football-perspective, Perryman has a history of costing his teams with these hits, and so until he can stop penalizing the teams he plays for with these errant shots, then he's not going to be as effective as others at his position. A fact reflected by PFF, who has graded his overall defense at just 44.7, one of the worst for any linebacker in the NFL.
He's a heck of a run-stopper, but his suspension shouldn't hurt the Texans over the next two games.