Greenway expecting fine for hit on Johnson

Chad Greenway (Brace Hemmelgarn/US Presswire)

Chad Greenway is expecting a fine for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Calvin Johnson, realizing he violated the letter of the law when it comes to how defenders are allowed to contact a defenseless player.

Chad Greenway is off to one of the best starts of his career and is garnering a lot of attention from the national media for his level of play.

However, he is also likely to have a little added attention from the NFL's league office. Following a hit on Detroit wide receiver Calvin Johnson in which Greenway did just about everything that the league uses to describe hitting a defenseless receiver – lowering his head, leading with the helmet, launching his body – he is likely to get a hefty fine from the league.

Asked if he expects to get a FedEx letter (the manner in which the league informs players they have been fined) from the league, Greenway seemed resigned to the fact that it won't be a matter of "if" he gets one, but "when."

"Yeah, probably Wednesday," Greenway said. "We'll find out how much."

Greenway was caught in something of a no man's land when it came to the hit, which knocked Johnson to the turf and sent him to the sidelines for a few plays and apologized to Johnson after the play.

"Obviously, I didn't mean any intent to try to hurt him," Greenway said. "I was just playing the game and what they saw he was in a vulnerable position. I tried to pull off – a little late obviously. I'm glad he wasn't hurt and hope he is good."

When the league reviews the play, which looks even more like a violation in slow motion than in regular speed, it's unlikely Greenway will have any recourse. But he hopes that the league fine police take into account what he did on contact – pull back and not finish the play by driving Johnson into the turf.

"Some of those calls are pretty cut-and-dry," Greenway said. "I think in this case it maybe wasn't quite as cut-and-dry. I feel like I had to go up there and at least try to defend the ball. Once I realized he didn't catch it, I tried to hit and pull away and it just wasn't fast enough."

Perhaps the most incriminating part of that process was Greenway pulling his hands back as if to say, "I didn't do it." He compared it to basketball games when a player reaches in, knows he made contact and pulls his hands back – a move that almost invariably gets called for foul/penalty.

"I wanted to pull my hands back thinking I didn't follow through with the tackle," Greenway said. "I may have looked like I was really guilty, which was fine. I was guilty. I hit him. I tried to display that I didn't finish the hit. I tried to pull off. It's just something about being a defensive player in the NFL right now. It's what it's going to be. You have to expect it."

And Greenway is expecting a letter from the NFL that will relieve him of a portion of his game check.


John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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