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Hue Jackson submits hit on Andy Dalton to league office

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson isn't happy about a shot that Andy Dalton received on Sunday. And according to NFL rules, he shouldn't be. But it might also have something to do with history.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson isn't quite angry, no. But he is irritated enough to submit a play to the league office. With 6:22 remaining in the game, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton took a shot below the knees well after handing off to Giovani Bernard. Here:




According to Paul Dehner with the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals are submitting this play... asking about the "legality of Suggs' hit on Dalton."

Many years ago, the league created a rule to protect quarterbacks after Tom Brady suffered a season-ending ACL and MCL tear in his left knee during the Patriots '08 opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Per the Boston Globe:

As Brady stepped into a 28-yard completion to Randy Moss, Chiefs safety Bernard Pollard made a desperation dive into Brady's left knee after he had been blocked to the ground just short of Brady by running back Sammy Morris.

The Competition Committee said... we can't have our golden players with shots below the knee, so let's create a new rule. The rule (again, per the Boston Globe):

The fifth provision of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12 (roughing the passer) says that: "A rushing defender is prohibited from forcibly hitting in the knee area or below a passer who has one or both feet on the ground, even if the initial contact is above the knee. It is not a foul if the defender is blocked (or fouled) into the passer and has no opportunity to avoid him."

Clearly Suggs could have avoided Dalton on Sunday. However, the difference is that Dalton wasn't a passer. Regardless, there needs to be an explanation when a player is tackling another player below the knees, away from the play.

Jackson may also have recollection of a similar play. Nearly nine years ago, Jackson was Cincinnati's wide receivers coach when Carson Palmer suffered his ACL tear during Cincinnati's wild card game in '05.

So it wouldn't be hard for Jackson to have a strong reaction when someone hits his quarterback below the knee... and the league officials do nothing about it.