Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has been fined $8,268 for his chop block on Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell last Sunday, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
The hit resulted in a strained MCL for Campbell, who could miss a month.
Thomas hit Campbell in the knee as Campbell was preparing to engage tackle Ryan Clady. A penalty was called, negating a touchdown, and Campbell left the game.
“I’ve been coaching 37 years; it’s the dirtiest play I’ve ever seen in the National Football League,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said after the game. “It was a flat chop block and it put him out of the game. I’ve never seen anything like it.
“Somebody has got to answer to that. A fine isn’t going to do it when he’s going to miss three to four weeks.”
On Monday, the NFL said the officiating crew in Denver made the right call.
“The play was penalized because it was an illegal chop block, a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 items c) and d),” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said. “The officials threw the flag for the ‘reverse chop.’ Thomas blocked Campbell ‘in the area of the thigh or lower,’ as specified by rule, and Clady engaged Campbell high ‘simultaneously or immediately after the block’ by Thomas, resulting in the penalty.
“The play also violated part c) of the rule, known as a ‘lure.’ While Thomas chops Campbell, Clady ‘confronts the defensive player in a pass-blocking posture but is not physically engaged with the defensive player.’”
Arians was still livid at his Monday press conference.
“You’ll never convince me it wasn’t premeditated,” Arians said. “The one guy set him up.”
Thomas previously denied that it was intentional and expressed remorse for hurting Campbell.
“The main thing is there was no intention for anybody to be hurt on the play, and hopefully he’ll be back soon,” Thomas said.