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Officiating Dept. Video

Week 13 officiating video: Ingram penalty was not for horizontal spike

As we surmised on Mark Ingram’s touchdown celebration, there was an unseen action that was penalized; the fact he drilled the ball into the stadium wall was not a foul.




In his weekly tape to the media (video), NFL vice-president of officiating addressed some officiating points from Week 13:

  • Excess timeout. In the Broncos-Chargers game, a Broncos player was injured with the clock stopped at 1 second. The Broncos were out of timeouts, so they were granted the fourth, or “excess,” timeout, just like in their game against the Patriots. In this case, since the Broncos were on offense, the clock stoppage also results in a 10-second runoff. (The Chargers have the option to decline.) Once the injured player was removed from the field, the half ended immediately.
  • Quarterback eligibility and motion. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady caught a pass in the game against the Eagles. Brady was an eligible receiver, since he was not lined up under center. In this particular case, the eligible/ineligible tipping point was very carefully avoided. The rule, using some antiquated language, states that a player is ineligible if he “takes his stance behind center as a T-formation quarterback” and regains eligibility if he moves to a position at least 1 yard behind the linemen. Additionally, since Brady never went under center, he has a little more freedom to shift his position, otherwise he would be required to set for at least 1 second transitioning from an under-center quarterback to a position anywhere in the backfield.

Some items in the video were explained in detail in our Sunday quick calls feature:

  • Choreographed celebration. The unsportsmanlike conduct foul on the touchdown by Saints running back Mark Ingram Jr. was explained. As we surmised, there was an unseen action that was penalized; the fact he drilled the ball into the stadium wall was not a foul. Ingram made a bow-and-arrow gesture, and another player out of frame acted out something correlated to that. This is a choreographed group celebration which is unsportsmanlike conduct
  • The dropkicked kickoff by the Patriots
  • The touchback ruling on a muffed punt recovery over the end line by the Bears
  • The blocked extra-point attempt was returned by the Saints defense, allowing the Saints to score 2 points after the Panthers touchdown (also see “Everything you need to know about the new point-after-touchdown conversion rules“)

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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