NFL rules prevent correct ruling on the field

Jonathan Daniel

In another failure by officials on the field of an NFL game, further issues within its replay system are exposed.

NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Ryan Clark's recovery of the ball after a blocked kick against Green Bay was not reviewable, but had it been reviewable, the Steelers would have been awarded possession.

Clark recovered the blocked kick, which is something that shouldn't need to be reviewed, before having his knee on the ground while lateraling the ball to William Gay. The lateral wasn't successful and Ziggy Hood eventually batted the ball out of bounds, drawing a penalty.

Because officials somehow did not see Clark possess the ball, the play was not reviewable. According to Blandino, it's something the league's Competition Committee has looked at in the past and should continue to look at in the future.

In other words, because instant replay is only used on some plays, officials could not use it to bail themselves out of not making the correct call on the field, so an illogical ruling - the Packers retained the ball after Pittsburgh blocked a field goal and recovered it - stands on the field.

Or, the exact opposite of what replay is supposed to prevent.

Considering Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is on the NFL's Competition Committee, odds seem good routine possession establishment will be extended to all areas of the game in the near future.

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