So why was Chargers defensive lineman Corey Liuget not fined for his low hit on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning? The NFL says it’s all about the location of Liuget’s hit: Manning’s thigh, not his knee.
The famous “Tom Brady Rule,” implemented in 2009 after Bernard Pollard ended Brady’s 2008 season with a low hit, was designed to protect quarterbacks from hits to the lower leg. In a video distributed to the media. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino said that rule was not violated when Liuget hit Manning.
“The helmet, the shoulder, it’s mid-thigh,” Blandino said of Liuget’s hit. “It’s not at the knee or below. You cannot hit a quarterback, a passer, in the knee area or below with forcible contact. . . . The contact is at mid-thigh. Legal tackle.”
With the NFL considering still more rules to protect quarterbacks, it’s possible that next year, a hit like Liuget’s would be flagged and fined. But this year, that hit is legal.