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NFL tells Bruce Arians that Rams' blocked kicks should've been penalized

Bruce Arians sees some inconsistency with how the NFL officiates during kicks. Norm Hall/Getty Images

TEMPE, Ariz. -- What Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians initially thought were legal rushes by the Los Angeles Rams on a blocked field goal and extra point were in fact illegal.

The NFL told Arians after a discussion earlier this week that the Rams should’ve been penalized on both blocked kicks as well as on one other play in Los Angeles' 32-16 victory Sunday because Cardinals long-snapper Justin Drescher should have still been considered a defenseless player.

“It was very disappointing,” Arians said. “And when I talked to the league officials, especially when I saw the Kansas City-Jets game, the exact same play was penalized. And it’s just consistency throughout the league.”

On the blocked extra point in the second quarter, Rams defensive tackles Michael Brockers and Tyrunn Walker hit Drescher before his head was up and he could establish a blocking position, which is the requirement for defenders to avoid a penalty, according to a video published by NFL Football Operations.

The same thing happened when Los Angeles blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. Brockers hit Drescher before he could establish himself.

“He was still defenseless when he was hit in all three instances,” Arians said.

On Monday, Arians said “it was a very legal play, nothing illegal about the play” and called on Drescher to “anchor down and hold his spot. It’s as simple as that.”

Drescher appeared on the Cardinals’ injury report Wednesday with a shoulder issue. He was listed as limited on the same day that fellow long-snapper Aaron Brewer, who was on injured reserve with a wrist injury, returned to practice. Arians said Brewer could play as soon as Sunday against Tennessee.

“They look good,” Arians said in reference to Brewer’s snaps. “They looked fine today. The big thing is just taking contact, starting out again.”