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Report: NFL deems low Peyton Manning hit legal

Corey Liuget first contacted Peyton Manning above the knee. (CBS)

Peyton Manning hobbled off the field late in Sunday’s game over the Chargers but after an MRI Monday, Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio said the 37-year-old quarterback will start next Sunday when Denver faces undefeated Kansas City.

The Associated Press reported Monday that the MRI did not show any further damage to Manning’s right ankle.

But one issue lingers: Will the NFL punish Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget for the low hit that re-aggravated the high-ankle sprain that has bothered Manning for much of the season?

Del Rio has asked the league to review the play but the Denver Post‘s Mike Klis reports that the NFL has ruled the tackle was within the rules “…because Liuget initially made contact with his helmet to Manning’s thigh area. Liuget wrapped his arms below the knee, but it was the initial contact above the knee that made it legal.”

You can see in the screen shots above that Liuget initially contacted Manning above his knee. Still, we’ve seen flags thrown for lesser (but still legal) offenses.

Put another way: You think Tom Brady or Drew Brees get that call?

And this isn’t about some quarterbacks getting flags while others don’t. That happens, for sure, but this is about a general uniformity in the enforcement of the rules. It’s a lot easier to follow them when, you know, they’re observed with some consistency.

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