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Do-overs in football? Yes, when the stadium blocks punt



Preseason Week 2: Titans at Cowboys

Jeff Fisher, in his capacity as competition committee chair, is calling a teleconference of the committee regarding an unusual circumstance in a game he coached, Friday’s Titans-Cowboys game.

A punt by backup Titans punter A.J. Trapasso hit the overhead video screen (video at 1:10). Initially, none of the referees saw the ball deflect off of the video screen, so Fisher called for a replay review. (This is not a reviewable call, but the officiating crew determined without review that the ball came in contact with the video screen.)

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the rule is that the play is nullified and replayed. However, the game officials had the clock reset as if the play never happened — something not typical when a penalty nullifies the play.

“We haven’t talked at all about time being put on the clock,” [NFL director of officiating Mike Pereira]  said. “The only thing we’ve talked about really is the do-over of the play. We’ve never talked about resetting the clock back to where it was. That’s obviously something we’re going to have to talk about. And that may be what we arrive at.

“I would say that it’s a big enough issue that we’re going to have to address it with the competition committee here probably sometime this week to figure out what direction we want to go.”

This was the first game played in the new Cowboys Stadium, and according to Farmer’s report, punters from both teams were able to hit the scoreboard several times. This may not be the last time this happens in a game. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones states that he will not move the video screens, despite the fact that the stadium will do so for an upcoming U2 concert.

Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)