The NFL has officially weighed in on Ahmad Brooks’ game-changing roughing-the-passer penalty that prevented the 49ers from a late-game takeaway in their 23-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, speaking Tuesday on NFL Network’s "Around The League Live" said referee Tony Corrente made the correct call on Brooks’ hit against Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
"You can't make forcible contact to the head or the neck area, even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up," Blandino said. "If there's force to that contact, it's a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force.
"That's why the flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness."
[REWIND: Was Brooks' penalty the correct call?]
Brooks might be subject to a fine, too. But that decision is made by NFL vice president of operations Merton Hanks, the former 49ers safety. Hanks is not part of the league’s officiating department, so he could determine that Brooks' actions do not warrant a fine.