Bruce Arians calls hit on Calais Campbell ‘the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen’

Arizona Cardinals Coach Bruce Arians was livid over a chop block that will sideline defensive end Calais Campbell for about a month, calling it the “dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League.”

Campbell hurt his medial collateral ligament when tight end Julius Thomas went low in the third quarter of the Cardinals’ 41-20 loss to the Broncos in Denver. Campbell may have partially torn the ligament, Arians said (via USA Today).

“I’ve been coaching for 37 years and it’s the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League,” Arians said. “It was a flat chop block that put him out of the game. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ryan Clady was flagged on the play, which erased a 77-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas. After the game, Thomas sought out one of the Cardinals players to send an apology to Campbell and told reporters the play was the result of miscommunication with Clady on who was responsible for blocking Campbell. “I guarantee that being dirty is not a part of my game,” Thomas said, “and to intentionally hurt somebody is not something I would ever do.”

Mike Pereira, the Fox Sports commentator who formerly headed up officiating for the NFL, said it was illegal and explained further to’s Peter King.
“It’s called a ‘lure block,’ ” Pereira said. “Chop blocks are usually the high-low combination blocks, except for this one exception. If an offensive player assumes a pass-blocking posture across from a defensive player, the defensive player is going to assume he’s pass-blocking him. Then it’s illegal for another blocker to hit him low. It’s illegal, and probably will result in a big fine, I would think.”

Pereira refers to Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 in the NFL’s Digest of Rules. The rule that applies here says: “… Chop Blocks are illegal, including in the following situations: A1 [offensive player one] chops a defensive player while A2 [offensive player two] confronts the defensive player in a pass-blocking posture but is not physically engaged with the defensive player (a lure).’’

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