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Week 8 officiating video: crackback blocks, official timeouts



NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino today released the Week 8 media video. Topics this week included interception/touchback rules, crackback blocks, and timing rules (video download).

  • Low blocks and crackback blocks were a topic of discussion during the Cardinals-Eagles game. The rule is that any player that is two or more yards outside the tackle zone cannot come back inside the tackle zone and block below the waist towards the middle of the field. If blocked square, or away from the middle of the field, it is determined legal. An illegal crackback of this nature was called against Arizona and enforced 15 yards.
  • Injury timeouts within two minutes are charged timeouts to the team, even if the officials stop the game on the field. In Carolina Sunday, back judge Rick Martinez stopped the game with less than 50 seconds to play when Roman Harper of the Panthers spent a little too long lying down on the field after a touchdown. Martinez determined that Harper was exhibiting signs of an injury and therefore stopped the clock, and Carolina was charged with a timeout. Blandino said officials have been instructed to always err on the side of player safety, no matter its impact on the game being played.
  • Another aspect that Blandino said officials are being asked to focus on are ineligible receivers downfield. Officials will be looking for lineman downfield on plays that originally are called as run plays, but are changed at the line to pass plays. Remember, the rule is that ineligible lineman cannot be more than a yard downfield before the ball is released on a forward pass.
  • Blandino also highlighted the safety for the Steelers in the game against the Colts as we covered on Sunday.
  • During Monday night’s game, an interesting interception and touchback occurred in favor of the Cowboys, on J.J. Wilcox’s interception and fumble.