Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians called it the dirtiest play he’s seen in 37 years of coaching.
That claim can’t be qualified, but Denver tight end Julius Thomas’ chop block has shelved Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell for anywhere from one to three weeks.
The NFL also released a statement Monday confirming that it was indeed an illegal “lure” block, in which tackle Ryan Clady got into a pass blocking position without engaging Campbell while Thomas went low to the legs of the defensive end.
“They can sugarcoat it any way they want. The worst kind of chop block is when a guy never expects it. That’s when somebody flashes their hands to pass-block you and somebody hits you from the side,” Arians told Bickley and Marotta Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Thomas spoke to the media Monday, and claimed there was no malicious intent on his part, instead citing poor communication between he and Clady.
“Sometimes we’re trying to communicate between the tackles and the tight ends and everything isn’t always communicated as clearly as we’d like it to be,” he said. “We would have liked it to be a cleaner play, something that wasn’t as gray, but that’s part of football and it’s something that we’ll work out as an offense.”
Thomas was flagged on the play and the penalty negated a 77-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Demaryius Thomas.
Arians believes that Thomas should be suspended until Campbell is healthy enough to play again. The fourth-year tight end also isn’t too concerned with the strong words coming from Cardinals’ headquarters.
“I don’t spend much time worried about what others think about myself or what should happen,” he said. “You can spend all day with all the opinions of any play of any game of what others think. I’m not going to pay too much attention to what (Arians) feels should happen.
“The main thing was that there was no intention for anybody to be hurt on the play and hopefully (Campbell) will be back soon.”