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Lions’ Carrier Suspended One Game

September 30, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Detroit safety Mark Carrier, whose helmet-to-helmet hit gave Tampa Bay’s Brice Hunter a concussion, was suspended for one game by the NFL on Wednesday.

This is the league’s first suspension for an on-field hit since 1992, when Green Bay’s LeRoy Butler was suspended one game for throwing a forearm to the head of Detroit quarterback Andre Ware.

The suspension will cost Carrier about $25,000, or one week of his base salary of $475,000.

Gene Washington, the NFL’s chief disciplinarian, said Carrier’s record was taken into account. This is the third time in two seasons and the fifth in seven years he has been cited for hitting with his helmet.

George Young, the league’s senior vice president for football operations, called the latest hit ``unnecessary, dangerous and something we do not want in the game.″

``It is a tackling technique that poses a significant injury risk both to the player and his opponent,″ he said.

Said Lions coach Bobby Ross: ``I don’t know how we can make decisions on this when two guys are going up for a ball.″

Ross also alluded to two former Lions, Reggie Brown and Mike Utley, who received serious neck injuries.

``It’s ironic that we would be the one team picked out after eight years of what’s happened to us when there are people who have titles of head hunters and everything else, and that not one thing has been done to them,″ Ross said.

Carrier’s hit, which was not penalized, came during the second period of the Lions’ 27-6 victory Monday night. The game was delayed about 10 minutes while Hunter was treated on the field.

Last season, Carrier was fined once and warned once for two improper helmet hits in the same game.

He also was fined $7,500 for a hit against Green Bay in 1997. With the Chicago Bears, Carrier was fined a total of $17,500 for improper helmet hits in 1992 and 1993.