Jan 19, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Sports Authority Field
New England Patriots
Denver Broncos
Tamme (7:50)
Thomas (7:52)
Edelman (9:26), Brady (3:07)

Dean Blandino defends Wes Welker's hit on Aqib Talib

NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino says that there was nothing wrong with the clash between Wes Welker and Aqib Talib last Sunday.

The NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino has stated that the play which saw Aqib Talib depart the field injured on Sunday was indeed a legal one.

New England Patriots cornerback Talib was blocked off by Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker during the AFC championship game at the weekend, leading to Patriots coach Bill Belichick slamming the play.

However, Blandino has come out and explained why the hit was acceptable, contradicting the opinion of the New England coach.

He told NFL Total Access: "It was a legal hit. Welker is 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. Welker runs the route, and he does appear to angle back towards Talib and come into his path, creating that contact.

"When was the ball touched in relation to the contact? As the contact occurs, the ball is touched almost simultaneously. We don't have a foul for pass interference. Simple."

Blandino's comments suggest that Welker will not be charged by the league, and the wideout has since come out and defended the play himself.

Wes Welker #83 of the Denver Broncos at AT&T Stadium on October 6, 2013
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