In yesterday's game against the Vikings we saw a fumble recovered by the Lions reversed because of a call for a blow to the head of Favre. I have been unable to find a video of this play online so I could look at it more, but it seemed to me to be a strange use of this rule. Hopefully somebody here can clarify this for me.
So first of all, the penalty called was for a blow to the head. When they showed the replay on TV, it didn't look to me like a player hit him in the head, only grabbed his helmet, and not at all on his facemask. I thought it was legal to tackle a player by the helmet as long as they do not grab the facemask (is this a special rule for QB's?) Second according to Hockule the fumble was negated because the foul casued the fumble. I don't know if this is true or not because Favre looked as though he took at least two more steps after the grabbing of the helmet was released before the ball came loose, I'm not sure you can say that was caused by the grabbing of the helmet.
So am I right in believing that you can tackle a player by the head as long as you don't grab the facemask? Does the blow to the head rule for QB's mean that you can never lay a hand on their helmet even if you just grab and don't strike them? Is there something I'm missing here? If anyone knows please clarify. By the way, I couldn't find a copy of the updated NFL rulebook to look this issue up. If anyone has access to it the exact wording would be helpful.