If you think the Jadeveon Clowney hit that knocked Carson Wentz out of the Eagles’ playoff game on Sunday was a cheap shot, you’re not alone.
FOX rules analyst and former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira was on 94WIP on Tuesday and he agrees with you.
Here’s what Pereira said about the play:
I think it was a cheap shot. And the reason that I base it on that is on regular speed video and not slow motion. … I mean, he takes a shot. Listen, I don’t think Clowney tried to hurt anybody but I do think he tried to punish him. That was my opinion of the play. Needlessly punish him.
And for those who don’t think it was cheap, then I would say I respect your opinion, but do me a favor and go back and look at it in real time, the live shot, which seldom do the networks go back and show. Some of them don’t even record the original line feed. But go back and look at that and tell me it was not necessary. To me, unnecessary equates to cheap. That’s my view on the play.
Pereira said he thinks the play should have resulted in a 15-yard penalty for hitting a defenseless player.
He explained that, sure, Wentz loses certain protections as a quarterback when he becomes a runner. But Pereira argued that Wentz was going to the ground when Clowney hit him and Wentz was “absolutely” defenseless at that point.
“I mean, Wentz is heading to the ground, he actually hit the ground about the same time as the contact occurs,” Pereira said. “You could look at it and say, you could make it somewhat similar to a quarterback giving himself up. The defender, talking about Clowney here, is beginning to start to make the tackle. And so you can say if he hit him in the body, if he hit him in the back, he would be OK. But as a defenseless player, since he’s on his way to the ground or on the ground, you have to stay away from the head or neck area.”
NFL Network on Tuesday reported that the league won’t suspend Clowney for the hit but is looking into the possibility of a fine.
Pereira is very interested to see if the NFL fines Clowney but thinks there’s a good chance it doesn’t because the refs are already on record saying it shouldn’t have been a penalty.
Referee Shawn Smith told a pool reporter after the game there was not a penalty called because they deemed the contact “incidental.”
Pereira on Tuesday wasn’t buying that. He called the hit “unnecessary and forceful.”
You can listen to the full interview here:
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