The end of the first half in the Steelers’ Week 8 matchup with the Jaguars was pure chaos.
Kenny Pickett was injured after taking a hit and being slammed to the ground, which yielded no penalty being called. Pickett threw an incomplete pass on the play, yet the Steelers were still charged with a timeout as he was being attended to instead of a 10-second runoff taking place.
The NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating, Walt Anderson, and referee Alan Eck were asked about that sequence after the game. by PFWA Pool reporter Brian Batko.
Batko: Wanted to ask about a few plays from the game. The first one, on the play that Kenny Pickett got injured- the second to last incomplete pass in the first half- Steelers took a timeout instead of getting a 10-second runoff. The runoff, that still takes place even if there’s an injury on a dead ball? I’m just looking for some clarity on that.
“There was a play before the injury where [the Steelers] ran for a first down, but the game was stopped and we reviewed that because he actually got hit and he fumbled the ball in bounds.”
Batko: Right, well there was a runoff on that play too, right?
“Yes, that was a runoff. And then it was the next play when he was injured- it doesn’t matter whether it’s an incomplete pass or not, if there’s an injured player, the team is charged a timeout. There’s no 10-second runoff in that situation because they are charged the timeout.”
Batko: Okay, so that’s regardless of dead ball or not?
“Correct. And Pittsburgh, I believe at that time, had one timeout remaining. So because of the injury, they were charged that one remaining timeout.”
Batko also asked about the offside call in which a Steelers player was lined up in the neutral zone that negated a field goal at the end of the first half. Eck gave his response.
“The right guard was lined up in the neutral zone,” Eck said. “His head was over the back edge of the ball so by rule that’s an offensive offside foul. It’s a live ball foul, so we let the play go through and then we mark off the five-yard penalty and replay the fourth down.”
Chris Boswell missed the ensuing 61-yard field goal and the Steelers entered halftime down 9-3.