NFL: Wes Welker's block on Aqib Talib was 'a legal hit'


Bill Belichick called Wes Welker's block of Aqib Talib "deliberate" and "one of the worst plays (he'd) ever seen."

The NFL's take on the block that ended Talib's afternoon? Deliberate? Potentially. Dirty? Nope.

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"It was a legal hit," Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, told NFL Network's Dan Hellie on Wednesday's edition of "NFL Total Access."

"Let's look at the video, and we'll explain why," Blandino went on, signature Xbox controller in hand. "Here's Welker in the slot. And the first potential foul would be for offensive pass interference. The receiver can't block downfield before the ball is touched. So the timing is important. You see Welker run the route, and he does appear to angle back towards Talib and come into his path, creating that contact.

"Now we have to look to see when was the ball touched in relation to the contact," Blandino added. "You'll see here, as the contact occurs, the ball is touched almost simultaneously. We don't have a foul for pass interference."

Blandino added that under the current rules, Welker's block is not considered unnecessary roughness since the contact didn't come late and Talib was considered part of the play.

The comments tell us Welker won't face any league discipline. Belichick's only recourse at this point is to plead for a rule change with the league's Competition Committee. We wouldn't be shocked if he did.

Watch Blandino's take on this play and NaVorro Bowman's fumble recovery tonight at 7 p.m. ET on "NFL Total Access."