NFL to Revise In-Season Part of Challenge Rule
New York, NY
In a rare move, the NFL is planning to revise in-season part of the review rule which penalizes coaches who challenge a scoring play.
Ray Anderson, NFL vice president of football operations, said the league might consider changing the rule during the season, because the league considers the combination of sanctions too harsh.
Under the revised rule, the coaches would likely still receive the 15-yard penalty, but the replay would be allowed.
Anderson said the league's competition committee will meet to discuss the replay rule in the next few days.
The move came after Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz was hit with a 15-yard penalty and the forfeiture of the replay after improperly challenging a ruling in the Lions' 34-31 overtime loss to the Houston Texans.
Schwartz was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing the challenge flag on a play that was going to be automatically reviewed. Rules have it that all scoring and turnover plays will be automatically reviewed.
Schwartz challenged the call after replays clearly showed Houston running back Justin Forsett's knee touched the ground but no call was made. He then continued running for an 81-yard touchdown.
"I was so mad they didn't call him down," Schwartz said after the game. "I had the flag out of my pocket before he even scored. I overreacted, and it cost us a touchdown."
"I let the players know what the call was and it was my fault," Schwartz added. "Things happen in a game, and we still had a lot of time left. I wanted to make sure they weren't distracted."
NFL director of instant replay Dean Blandino explained the rule was put in place to prevent a team in a challenge situation from creating a delay.
"They're thinking about challenging the play, they commit a foul, jump offside, false start, now they've given themselves more time to make that decision," Blandino explained.
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