What did JJ Arcega-Whiteside learn from costly penalty?


After JJ Arcega-Whiteside was called for holding on Miles Sanders’ 21-yard touchdown run, he went back to the sideline, where Jason Peters gave him some tips about how to execute that block without committing a penalty.

Then J.P. saw the play on film.

“He told me, ‘You didn’t do anything wrong,’ JJAW said. “He said, “‘That wasn’t a hold.”

It wasn’t a hold, but it goes into the record books as a hold.

Welcome to the NFL.

Arcega-Whiteside and Sanders, the Eagles’ two second-round picks, were both playing in their first NFL regular season game on Sunday. 

With 5:55 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles up 29-20, Sanders zipped through a huge hole carved out by Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks and powered his way into the end zone for what should have been his first touchdown and a 36-20 lead. 


Arcega-Whiteside was cited for holding Redskins cornerback Josh Norman around the 15-yard-line, although if you watch the play, you can see JJAW disengage as Sanders runs past them. 

Norman flops down to the ground and swipes at Sanders, but the rookie is gone. 

It should have been a 21-yard touchdown. 

“I knew he didn’t hold,” Sanders said. “I just knew. It was my first touchdown. That’s a BS call. But it is what it is. We got the W.” 

The Eagles won 32-27, but Sanders is still looking for his first official touchdown. 

“I mean, what can you do?” Arcega-Whiteside told NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark. “It kind of sucks because I get in five plays and one of them was a penalty and on top of that it’s to take away a touchdown from a guy I came here with? But just live and learn.

“I asked the guys, I asked the coaches, what can I do in that situation, and they all said nothing. ‘What are we going to do, tell you to block less aggressively? Let him go make the tackle?’ Next time I see a flop I’ll have to flop, too.” 

Arcega-Whiteside said he’s not too upset about the bogus call because he knows he’s going to get another chance to block for his fellow rookie on a touchdown that will count. 

“One hundred percent,” he said. “Just like I know he’s going to get one for me.”

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