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Joe Thomas on those who believe Clay Matthews’ hit was a foul: “Please come forward and explain yourself”

Curtis Crabtree

The NFL has vigorously defended the roughing the passer call against Clay Matthews for a hit on Kirk Cousins in Sunday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers.

Just about everyone not in the NFL league offices in New York has vigorously disagreed with the notion that Matthews hit on Cousins should be a penalty. Former Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas is the latest to disagree with the ruling and the explanation from the NFL as to why it was a penalty.


Thomas would continue in saying “please come forward and explain yourself” regarding the notion that what Matthews did was against the rules.

The NFL is saying that Matthews picked up Cousins and drove him into the turf. In most instances on a football field, that’s called a tackle. However, the desire to keep quarterbacks healthy has led to Matthews’ dropping of Cousins to be viewed as too egregious.

Two former heads of NFL officiating and a former league MVP quarterback in Brett Favre are among the voices to disagree with the NFL’s ruling. Even Cousins said the flag was “probably a generous call.”

Nevertheless, the NFL says the move is a penalty and is using the play – and a similar hit by Eric Kendricks of the Vikings earlier in the game – as instructional tape distributed to teams this week.

That doesn’t mean Thomas or anyone else not in the league headquarters is going to like it or agree with it. And to answer Thomas’ question, that’s where the people who believe the play was a penalty are located.