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DeAndre Hopkins questions critical penalty on Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons

(Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The decision was not a good one by Arizona Cardinals rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons.

With 56 seconds left in a tie game and the New England Patriots holding the ball on their own 32-yard line, Cam Newton converted on a critical first down with a scramble on 3rd-and-13 for 14 yards.

Newton was well on his way out of bounds when Simmons came into the picture, hitting Newton hard while the veteran quarterback still had a foot inbounds.

Simmons was flagged for a personal foul, giving the Patriots 15 more yards and placing them in field goal range.

Nick Folk converted from 50 yards out as time expired and the Cardinals lost 20-17.

The referee’s announcement of the flag didn’t clarify the reasoning for the personal foul, as Newton is clearly inbounds if it was for a late hit. The argument for helmet-to-helmet contact, though, is there.

The penalty in the gamebook was listed as unnecessary roughness.

FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira settled the debate, clarifying that Simmons didn’t lead with his helmet, so the helmet-to-helmet argument isn’t there, either.

Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins agreed, taking to Twitter to question the official’s decision before deleting the tweet.

The Cardinals are now 6-5 on the season.


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