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NFL: Block on Pats' Harrison was legal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Jan. 2, 2007) -- The NFL ruled that the block by a Tennessee receiver that injured New England safety Rodney Harrison over the weekend was legal.

Mike Pereira, the league's director of officiating, said Titans receiver Bobby Wade didn't commit an illegal crackback block because he was blocking upfield and not back toward the ball, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

Harrison injured the medial collateral ligament in his right knee, according to The Boston Globe and the Boston Herald. It wasn't clear how long he'll be sidelined. New England hosts the New York Jets in an opening-round playoff game Jan. 7.

Harrison's agent, Steve Feldman, did not return a call seeking comment. Patriots spokesman Stacey James declined comment in advance of the Jan. 3 official injury report.

Harrison, 34, was injured in the second quarter of the team's 40-23 victory over the Titans. Wade lined up to the right of the line of scrimmage, when Travis Henry carried for a 9-yard run. Harrison was chasing the play when Wade hit him with a low block.

Patriots players were angry over the hit, but no penalty was called and Harrison was able to walk off the field.

Harrison tore three ligaments in his left knee at Pittsburgh in the third game last year and missed the rest of the season. He started the first eight games this season, then broke his right shoulder blade in a 27-20 loss to Indianapolis when wide receiver Marvin Harrison fell on his arm.

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