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NFL: Jaguars were entitled to pick up red flag



wyant bradley

 [This post was updated, as the original description of the play was not correct before we had a chance to review video of the play.]

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley did not exactly know his challenge was outside of the scope of replay, but Jeff Triplette should have known.

The Jaguars punted with the Cardinals muffing the punt and subsequently recovering the ball. Recovery by itself is not challengeable. A review that results in a fumble with recovery or a muffed kick/backwards pass with recovery is allowable. But if replay does not create the loose-ball ruling, replay cannot rule on a loose-ball recovery, unless  the sideline or end zone is involved in the recovery.

This was not a case of the new rule regarding a impermissible challenge of a turnover (which would be an automatic timeout) because the kicking team did not recover the ball.

The NFL released a statement to Football Zebras acknowledging the call was in error.

NFL statement to Football Zebras

With 5:46 remaining in the third quarter of Sunday’s game between the Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Jaguars’ faced a fourth-and-10 from the Arizona 42. Jaguars’ punter Bryan Anger punted to the Arizona 9 where the ball was muffed by punt returner Patrick Peterson and recovered by Arizona.

Jacksonville challenged the recovery of the loose ball and the on-field ruling stood.

The recovery of a loose ball is not reviewable unless it occurs at the sideline, goal line, end zone or end line. Referee Jeff Triplette should not have permitted the challenge in this instance. Triplette should have explained to Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley that the recovery of the ball was not reviewable in this case and permitted him to pick up the challenge flag without the loss of a timeout.

Image: Bradley discusses a call with side judge Dave Wyant [Jacksonville Jaguars photo]

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)

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