Week 11: Browns at Lions
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford suffered a separated shoulder after being hit on a Hail Mary pass, which, by rule, requires a player to sit out for a down. While the gamebook shows the official scorekeeper was confused (it is listed as two consecutive timeouts by the Browns, which is not allowed) the Lions were assessed a fourth timeout because of injury. This is granted without penalty, according to Rule 4, Section 5, Article 4:
(d) No yardage penalty will be assessed for the first excess team timeout.
Should a fifth timeout be required for an injury, it would result in a 5-yard penalty.
Backup quarterback Dante Culpepper entered the field for the untimed down, which the causedÂ Browns to call a timeout to assess the situation. This opened the door for Stafford to return, even though he had not sat out for a play, under the same rule/section/article above:
(c) The player must leave the game for the completion of one down, unless:
(i) the injury is the result of a foul by an opponent; or
(ii) either team calls a charged team timeout.
Of course, the Browns will blame the officiating, rather than accept that they allowed a quarterback with a separated shoulder throw a last-chance, game-winning touchdown.