(b) Prohibited contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture is:
(1) Forcibly hitting the defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by encircling or grasping him; and
(2) Lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the defenseless player’s body.”
With the Jenkins/Thompkins hit, while helmet to helmet contact was incidental, it did occur, as a result of Jenkins lowering his head to try and make a proper tackle.
The difference on the Sproles hit is that there was not a blow to the head or neck.
Either play could have gone either way; like I said, Jenkins just got unlucky that he made contact with Thompkins head, however hard or soft it may have been. Would I call the contact to Thompkins head "forcible?" Probably not, in my definition, but I'm just a fan.
eta: Oddly enough, that was pulled directly from a 2011 article on a hit by [then] Falcon Curtis Lofton on... Marques Colston.
This post was edited on 10/19 at 11:11 pm