NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said on the NFL Network on Monday that linebacker Terrell Suggs's hit on Sam Bradford was legal and officials were mistaken to flag him for roughing the passer in the Ravens' 40-17 loss to the Eagles on Saturday night.
“We clarified this really in 2012 with the proliferation of these read option schemes and basically because the quarterback has an option, he's considered a runner until he either clearly doesn't have the football or he reestablishes himself as a passer,” Blandino said. “So, it's not a foul by rule.
“It's something that we will make sure we cover with our game officials because the defensive end coming off the edge, he doesn't know if the quarterback is going to keep it, he doesn't know if he's going to take off and run or drop back and so we treat the quarterback in that instance as a runner until he clearly reestablishes as a passer or he clearly doesn't have the football.”
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said Monday he did not believe that Suggs's hit was intentional but has not spoken to the league office about the play, according to Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Bradford said Saturday that he believes Suggs intentionally targeted his knees on a tackle. The quarterback made his return to the field after missing the 2014 season due to a re-torn ACL.
Suggs responded by questioning Philadelphia's offensive strategy.
“When you run the read option, you have to know the rules,” Suggs said after the game. “If you want to run the read option with your starting quarterback that's had two knee surgeries, that's on you. That's not my responsibility to update you on the rule.”
Kelly said Monday that Suggs' hit did not come off a zone-read play but instead took place during a shotgun out of hand-off play.
Watch the hit in question below:
- Christopher Chavez