The Arizona Cardinals have dealt with their fair share of injures this season. Whether it was defensive end Darnell Dockett’s torn ACL in the preseason, linebacker John Abraham’s ongoing concussion issues or nerve damage in quarterback Carson Palmer’s shoulder, the Cardinals have soldiered on.
Arizona will be forced to do so again after defensive end Calais Campbell was injured on an illegal chop block by Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas on Sunday.
“It was ugly,” Cardinals linebacker Larry Foote told reporters on Monday. “That’s a black eye to football, period.
“Current players, ex-players, they should be disgusted with that play.”
Thomas hit Campbell low in the legs during a play where Broncos tackle Ryan Clady got into pass blocking position, but did not engage the defensive end. The NFL released a statement on Monday citing the play as an illegal “lure” block.
Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians called it the “dirtiest play I’ve seen in 37 years of football.”
Such a strong statement has received some backlash, but Foote stands behind his coach’s assessment.
“Every commentator is trying to mock (Arians), but show me a play that’s dirtier,” the linebacker said. “There’s nothing that’s going to be more dirty — maybe you could match it, but it ain’t going to be more dirty.”
Foote awaits the NFL’s punishment of Thomas, saying a small fine would not be enough and it would hurt the league’s image. He added that the play looked like the “sweep the leg Johnny” scene from Karate Kid.
According to the 13-year linebacker, Thomas broke the code among NFL players.
“Even (Thomas’) own teammates should look at him funny for that,” Foote said, “We play against each other, but we’re all in the same fraternity.
“That’s a black eye — that’s spitting on all the current players and ex-players.”
Campbell is expected to miss between one and three weeks with an MCL sprain.