NFL: Julius Thomas chop block of Calais Campbell illegal

Arians: Hit on Calais Campbell 'dirtiest play I've ever seen.'
Monday October 6th, 2014

The NFL confirmed that the chop block by Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas that injured Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell on Sunday was illegal.

The league told USA Today that Thomas blocked Campbell in the "area of the thigh or lower" while Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady was engaging Campbell's upper body.

The play happened in the third quarter of Denver's 41-20 victory on Sunday and resulted in a 77-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas. The touchdown was negated after a penalty was called on Clady for an illegal block.

Campbell is reportedly out for up to four weeks with an injury to the MCL in his right knee.

Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said it was the dirtiest play he had seen in 37 years of coaching in the NFL. 

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"Somebody has to answer to that," Arians said after the game. "A fine isn't going to do it when he's going to miss three or four weeks on a blatant chop block."

Thomas said he and Clady got mixed up on who was supposed to block Campbell and that he didn’t intend to injure Campbell on the play. 

"I guarantee that being dirty is not a part of my game, and to intentionally hurt somebody is not something I would ever do," Thomas said to USA Today.

An NFL spokesman told USA Today that the league will decide later this week whether Campell, Clady, or both are fined for the play. 

The Cardinals' schedule over the next month include games against the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys.

- Scooby Axson

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