NFL says Seahawks' Bobby Wagner should have been penalized for leveraging

The NFL acknowledged Friday that Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner committed a foul Monday night during a key field goal block in the fourth quarter of the Seahawks' 21-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Wagner violated the rule prohibiting players from using teammates as leverage to jump over the line of scrimmage. Replays showed Wagner putting his hands on the players positioned on both sides of him as he jumped.

The ensuing penetration helped him block Dan Bailey's 47-yard attempt. Referee Brad Allen's crew initially threw a flag for a different foul but picked it up.

Allen did not explain why his crew did not call a leverage penalty. But Al Riveron, the NFL's senior vice president of officiating, included the play in a weekly video distributed Friday to the media. On the video, Riveron explained that Wagner committed the leverage penalty.

Had Allen called the penalty, the Vikings -- trailing 6-0 at the time -- would have received a first down at the Seahawks' 14-yard line with 5 minutes, 38 seconds remaining. Instead, the Seahawks gained possession at their 37 and drove for a game-clinching touchdown.

Wagner said this week that he didn't think the block was illegal.

"Personally, I didn't feel like I used them at all," he said. "I felt like in practice it was a little bit more different because we didn't have pads on and there was a little bit more space. But during the game, it wasn't, it was kind of tight. I was trying to make room for myself so I wouldn't give it up that I'm down there, but I was also kind of getting ready that I was going to jump. If you watch how I did it in practice, it was the same thing -- whenever I jumped, my hands were just naturally to my side. If you watch the play, when I jumped, my level of which I jumped did not move, I was at the same height.

"So, if I would have pushed off or used them to get over, you would've seen a change in where I was at, but it wasn't. At the end of the day, it counted, I'm going to take it. I'm going to count it as a block. Maybe 10, 15 years from now, you all are going to forget it happened, so I'm good with it."