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Week 5 Officiating Video: chop blocks, defenseless players, and punt returns



NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino released his weekly media video regarding last week’s noteworthy calls (download).

  • As we covered in Quick Calls on Sunday, during the game between the Panthers returned a punt by the Bears for a touchdown despite the fact that the receiver’s ability to catch the ball was interfered with. Remember, even if not giving a fair catch signal, a receiver still has an unimpeded right to catch the ball.
  • The chop block call during the Cardinals-Broncos game on Sunday was also previously covered here.
  • Blandino illustrated that line pushes on punt plays differ from field-goal and extra-point attempt. As an example, the Colts lined up differently than they would during an extra point attempt or field goal for the punt. During a punt, the defense is allowed to push into the offensive line and not bound by the restrictions of an extra point or field goal attempt.
  • Finally, we saw an illegal hit on a downed player during the game between Washington and Seattle. During the game, offensive lineman James Carpenter blocks a Washington defensive linesman, and then releases. The foul comes when Carpenter contacts his opponent in the head/neck area. Since the Washington player is already on the ground, he is deemed a defenseless player and thus gains protection from forcible blows to the head.
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