FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola's second-quarter block of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming, which resulted in an unnecessary roughness penalty in Saturday's 27-20 win, has been a hot-button discussion.
Was it a legal play? Was it a play that will lead the NFL to fine Amendola?
Amendola said after the game that he would appeal any fine, as he thought it was a clean hit. He also pointed out that it is a play the Patriots are coached to execute.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick, in his Sunday morning conference call, was asked what he saw on the play.
"I saw him block the guy trying to down the ball," Belichick answered. "It’s hard to tell from the coaching film where the hit occurred, but it was a legal play. We’re allowed to block him. He didn’t give a fair catch signal, so he’s allowed to block, and then after the play when [Dezman] Moses came over and snatched his facemask and started shaking him, I’m not really sure what all happened on that. There were a lot of bodies around there, a lot of pushing and shoving and all that. I don’t know, I think you’d have to ask the officials exactly what they called on that."
As Belichick noted, it was hard for him to tell where the hit occurred when watching the coaching film, and that will likely be what the NFL is looking at when determining if a fine is warranted. If the league determines it is a blindside block or that Amendola was leading with the crown of his helmet, it could fine Amendola.
On Twitter Saturday after the game, Fleming posed the question of what Amendola's punishment should be.
If Vontaze Burfict got suspended for 3 games for a shoulder. What yall think this weak dude should get? https://t.co/8GAwUtlQtg— JamellFleming (@JamellFleming) January 17, 2016
There is also the possibility that the NFL could interpret its rule on defenseless kickoff returners/punt returners as also applying to those on the coverage team like Fleming. If that is the case, the league might consider rewriting the rule to make that more clear.