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Referee Shawn Smith calls Jadeveon Clowney hit on Carson Wentz “incidental helmet contact”

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Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

A Seahawks game wouldn’t be complete without controversy, and that controversy came early in the first quarter of Seattle’s victory over the Eagles on wild card Sunday.

Scrambling up field, Carson Wentz fell forward as he was tripped up by Bradley McDougald. Following him to the ground, Jadeveon Clowney landed on top of Philadelphia’s quarterback, with his helmet making contact with Wentz’s, which pushed Wentz’s head into the turf. No flag was thrown on the play.

Wentz would play five more snaps before leaving the game with a concussion and not returning, while Clowney was booed constantly. After the game, the pool reporter for Seahawks-Eagles asked official Shawn Smith about the play in question:

Clowney’s case, as judged by the general public, was not helped by the slow motion replays shared, nor the photographs—neither of which are fair ways to judge any kind of football play. Clowney himself was asked about the hit, and answered as one would expect:

There is yet to be word on Wentz’s status shortly after the game’s conclusion, though Russell Wilson did ask Doug Pederson about his quarterback’s health after the game:

Though a fine may come later in the week for Clowney, referee Shawn Smith’s explanation seemingly matches the eye test, and does a fair job explaining why no flag came.