The hit that ended the season of quarterback Carson Wentz was a legal one.
That was the opinion of referee Shawn Smith after the Eagles' 17-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, who did not throw a flag for first-quarter hit by Seahawks defensive end Jadaveon Clowney on Wentz.
"He was a runner and he did not give himself up," Smith said. "We saw incidental helmet contact, and in our judgement, we didn't rule that to be a foul."
The hit gave Wentz a concussion, which held him out for the remaining three quarters. The play occurred on at the start of the Eagles second possesion, with nine minutes and 41 seconds remaining in the first quarter. As Wentz was going to the ground at the end of a run, which was ruled a sack, Clowney came in and made helmet-to-helmet contact with Wentz.
"From what we saw on the field," Smith said, "it was incidental"
Left tackle Jason Peters said that he spoke with Clowney after the play, and expressed to him that he didn't like the hit or Clowney hitting his quarterback. Clowney insisted after the game that he did not mean to hurt Wentz.
"I was just playing fast, and he turned like he was running the ball, so I was trying to get him down," said Clowney to USA Today. "It was a bang-bang play. I don't intend to hurt anybody in this league, let me just put that out there. I've been down the injury road; it's not fun."
Clowney apparently had more to say as well, as according to USA Today, he also called Philadelphia fans the "worst fans in the world" and that "there might be death threats" because of the hits.
Clowney has a history with Philadelphia quarterbacks, as last season he was fined for a hit on quarterback Nick Foles when Foles was still with the Eagles and Clowney was with the Houston Texans.
After these latest comments, it is safe to say that Clowney is not going to be a fan favorite in Philadelphia anytime soon.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!