Given that every hit on a NFL quarterback seems to draw a penalty, San Diego defensive end Corey Liuget's low hit that hurt Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning certainly seemed illegal when it happened.
The Broncos think it was outside of the rules, and want the NFL to look into it.
"We turned it in," Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said during his press conference, via the Denver Post. "We'll let the league determine. We thought it was questionable and they'll provide their answer."
Manning will "definitely" play this week, Del Rio said, but Sunday's game against San Diego took a toll. He took a few hits and aggravated a high ankle sprain. Liuget's hit obviously affected him.
Manning stayed down for a few moments after Liuget hit him on the right knee. He tried to get up but then went down again, although he didn't end up missing any plays.
Liuget came through the line and hit Manning low, but was that illegal? This is the NFL's rule:
"No defensive player who has an unrestricted path to the quarterback may hit him flagrantly in the area of the knee(s) or below when approaching in any direction."
Liuget was being blocked before he hit Manning, so there will be a question about the unrestricted path part of that. Also, Liuget's initial contact with Manning came with his helmet just above Manning's knee. The Denver Post talked to former NFL supervisor of officials Mike Pereira, who said the league could look into whether Liuget came in late or could have avoided the contact coming off the block. However, it doesn't appear that Liuget's hit should draw a fine.
The league protects its quarterbacks, especially stars like Manning, so it will be interesting to see how the league rules on a hit the Broncos think was questionable.
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