[ESPN.com] The NFL ruled Wednesday that Robert Geathers’ hit on Chiefs quarterback Trent Green was not a foul because he did not have complete control of his body.
“In other instances this contact might be illegal, since a defensive player has the responsibility to avoid unnecessary contact even when he is blocked by an opponent. However, in this case, the late slide and the block in the back were mitigating factors,” NFL senior vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said in a statement.
Green, 36, one of the oldest starting quarterbacks in the NFL, was going feet-first into a hook slide right in front of the Chiefs bench. The Bengals’ Geathers, possibly pushed from behind at least somewhat by Kansas City wide receiver Eddie Kennison, came flying in. Geathers’ right shoulder slammed Green’s chest and head and snapped the back of Green’s head violently to the turf.
Officials did not call a foul, explaining to the enraged Chiefs sideline that Geathers’ momentum had carried him into the player.
“In my opinion, I think it was a late hit. I think it was obviously a very vicious hit,” Chiefs president Carl Peterson said earlier this week, “one that unfortunately Trent Green and the Kansas City Chiefs are paying a price for.”
However, the NFL disagreed.
The NFL concluded that Geathers was indeed blocked from behind and the Bengals defensive end even twisted his torso to avoid helmet-to-helmet contact.