NFL to review whether Tahir Whitehead of Detroit Lions stepped on leg of Charles Leno of Chicago Bears on purpose


CHICAGO — An NFL spokesperson said Tuesday that the league will review whether Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead purposely stepped on the left leg of Chicago Bears left tackle Charles Leno during last Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.

The spokesperson stressed that every play of every game is reviewed by the league office for potential discipline.

The Chicago Tribune posted video Tuesday morning that showed Whitehead step over a pile and land on the left leg of Leno, who was on the ground, after a 4-yard run by Bears running back Jordan Howard in the first-quarter of Detroit’s 27-24 victory.

Whitehead was not called for a penalty on the play.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he was aware of the video but did not believe Whitehead deliberately tried to step on Leno.

“Yeah, I was unaware of it until I guess it just came up this morning,” Caldwell said Tuesday. “And I highly doubt that’s the case, that it was intentional, but I just saw it briefly.”

Whitehead’s wife emphatically defended her husband on Twitter.

“I’m appalled,” Shannon Whitehead wrote. “My husband would NEVER attempt to intentionally hurt another player. I won’t stand by and allow you or any other media personnel to question his integrity or defame him in any way.”

The Bears (3-7) and Lions (6-4) meet again in Week 15 at Ford Field on Dec. 16.

ESPN’s Mike Rothstein contributed to this report.

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