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NFL Says Whitner Helmet Hit on Thomas Was Legal

The NFL has send the helmet-to-helmet hit on Saints running back Pierre Thomas by 49ers safety Donte Whitner was legal according to the Associated Press.

Whitner was not penalized because the tackle was not against a defenseless player. Helmet-to-helmet hits are outlawed against eight categories considered defenseless players, and a runner is not one of those categories.

Thomas was considered a runner because he had made a catch, turned and made a “football move” before being hit.

The competition committee that recommends rules changes could examine such hits in the offseason.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said Sunday the “committee always closely studies and analyzes anything having to do with player safety.”

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