Senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron released the weekly officiating video today (video below).
In the video he covered several topics, including an incomplete pass that was the result of the receiver stepping out of bounds and catching the ball once back in. During the Chiefs at Texans Sunday night game, receiver DeAndre Hopkins stepped out of bounds just before catching a deep pass. He appeared to meet the catch rule criteria for a player going to the ground, however, it was ruled incomplete because he touched the ball after reentering the field of play. In order for a player to legally touch the ball after stepping out of bounds, it must be touched by another player and he must reestablish with two feet or another body part. Since Hopkins did not reestablish with two feet, there is no foul for illegal touching.
Next he covered the issue of ball control lost before the goal line that occurred in the Rams versus Seahawks game. Rams running back Todd Gurley appeared to score a touchdown when he hit the front of the pylon with the football. Video review showed him losing control before he stepped out of bounds and the ball hits the pylon. By rule, the pylon is part of the end zone and out-of-bounds for loose balls, therefore the ball belongs to the Seahawks at the 20 yard line by virtue of the play being ruled a touchback.
Lastly, Riveron covered legal celebrations. We covered this at length in a post this past offseason but briefly, celebrations are legal as long as they don’t interfere with the snap for the extra point. Other prohibited acts during the celebration include:
- Prolonged demonstrations by a player after a warning from an official (and will be extended to the group demonstrations)
- Use of a foreign object (also subject to ejection)
- Use of pylons or goalposts as a prop
- Removal of a helmet for a celebration or demonstration
- anything deemed violent or sexual in nature
Officials can still exercise discretion and warn players about celebrations that get too excessive. Prolonged celebrations are reined in by new play clock procedures.