In the first quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 28-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, defensive end Cam Heyward was called for a questionable personal foul penalty that left many fans scratching their heads.
As Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick was attempting to tackle Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson towards the sidelines, Heyward came in to finish the job. Even though Jackson was still inbounds at the time contact was made, Heyward was flagged for a late hit out of bounds.
During his weekly Monday film breakdowns, former offensive lineman and current NFL Network Brian Baldinger highlighted the Heyward’s hit and expressed his displeasure with the call.
“That’s the problem with all these quarterbacks that can run,” he said. “If they’re not going to go out of bounds or get down, and they’re staying in bounds. And a defense hits them, then they have every right to bitch about this call.”
.@steelers v @ravens @Lj_era8 @CamHeyward this call bugs me and I rarely if ever analyze official calls since I know how hard the game is to officiate! But this call cannot be made when the QB is no more than a running back on this play! #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/iCQOmIASL7— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 2, 2020
Heyward responded to Baldinger’s breakdown and defended the hit on Monday.
“If he’s given the chance to go out of bounds and doesn’t take it, what am I suppose to do,” Heyward tweeted. “I made contact while he was in bounds. Mind boggling.”
If he’s given the chance to go out of bounds and doesn’t take it, what am I suppose to do? I made contact while he was in bounds. Mind boggling— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) November 2, 2020
The personal foul call proved pivotal in the early stages of the game, as it gifted the Ravens a fresh set of downs on a drive that ended with a Jackson touchdown pass to wideout Myles Boykin.
Heyward finished the day with five total tackles, but left the game late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury that appeared significant at the time. Luckily for the Steelers, it is reportedly a minor quad injury.