NFL confirms illegal chop block on Campbell injury

Calais Campbell (93) leaves the game against the Denver Broncos after suffering a knee injury on an illegal chop block.

Joe Mahoney/AP

The NFL on Monday morning confirmed the play that injured defensive end Calais Campbell on Sunday was a chop block that violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 3 in items c) and d).

"The officials threw the flag for the ‘reverse chop,’" an NFL spokesperson said. "Julius Thomas blocked Calais Campbell ‘in the area of the thigh or lower,’ as specified by rule, and Ryan Clady engages 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.’"

Thomas could be fined. But the NFL’s stance didn’t mean much to Arians.

"They put out a statement — our guy is out one to three weeks," he said. 

When asked what would be an appropriate response form the league, Arians had one at the ready.

"The guy that did it doesn’t play until the other guy comes back. But that’s not the way it is," he said. "You’ll never convince me it wasn’t premeditated. The one guy set him up. What’s worse, when you’re engaged, you feel people around your legs. The lower chop block is the worst one. A guy sets you up and he grabs your attention and somebody else hits you in the knees — there’s no call for that in this game."

Thomas on Monday said there was no intent to injure Campbell on the play.

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