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Official Review: Duke Johnson fumble and taunting fouls

NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino went on NFL Total Access today to discuss the Duke Johnson fumble in the Browns game and further clarified what counts as taunting stemming from two separate incidents in week 4 (video below).

In the Browns game, running back Duke Johnson fumbled and it was quickly recovered by the Redskins. Line judge  Sarah Thomas immediately blew the play dead and signaled that the Redskins recovered the ball despite Johnson standing up out of the pile and holding it above his head. However, Blandino clarified that the continued signaling of possession is for the players safety so that players do not continue to fight for the ball. Turnovers are automatically reviewed and in this case, there was not a clear angle that showed that Johnson recovering the ball. Blandino noted that the ball changing hands between players in the pile is not sufficient evidence to make a ruling.

Host Dan Hellie asked if perhaps the call was made too quickly. Blandino responded:

If they [the officials] have clear evidence that a player has possession, we want to rule immediately because you don’t want an extended scrum where players could potentially get injured.

Blandino did state that the while the call looked bad due to Johnson holding the ball, Thomas  had already ruled possession prior and there was not sufficient evidence to suggest one team or the other had recovered. In that situation, the call stands as called on the field.

Lastly, Blandino clarified a portion of the taunting rule in two situations involving Redskins defensive back Josh Norman and Steelers receiver Antonio Brown. Norman appeared to shoot a fake bow and arrow and Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin asked the league for clarification on Brown’s pelvic thrust. Blandino said they were going to send out a tape clarifying the rule but briefly, he mentioned that any act that mimics a violent  or sexually suggestive act  is treated as unsportsmanlike conduct and officials will flag it.

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9 thoughts on “Official Review: Duke Johnson fumble and taunting fouls

  1. Keep it up Dean Blandino. Keep it up Roger Goodell. You are ruining the NFL!

    Keep punishing players having a little fun doing a dance. Keep supporting a completely unqualified female employee who has zero business being on the field.

    The ratings are down for a reason. Well, that and the Colin kaepernick wing of the NFL.

  2. When I watch football I want to watch football. I don’t want to watch dancing. Those are grown men out there and they should act like it. Got a sack? A touchdown? An interception? Good. Congratulations for doing your job. Is the game over yet? No? Then your job isn’t over yet. Keep your head in the game.

  3. @been there – Get off your high horse.

    Football is an emotional game. There have always been players and teams that were overly “expressive”. Let the players have a little fun.

    Eccentric characters and highly emotional players add to the fun of watching the games. You know what does not add to the game? Poor officiating…. And that is a direct result of hiring based on reasons other than qualifications.

  4. There is zero chance what Blandino says happened did indeed happen. Hell, I’ve never seen a fumble recovery blown dead that fast ever.

    Its pure CYA.

    As to Brown’s thrusting: I wonder (again) what the NFL considers cheerleaders?

  5. @From the sidelines–your comment is a thinly veiled reference to Ms. Thomas. She’s far more competent than Jerome Boger ever has been.

    @been there–totally agree. These are PROFESSIONAL football players. They should act like PROFESSIONALS. Scoring touchdowns, sacking the quarterback, making catches in traffic are all part of the job description. The only celebrations should be taking place when the clock reads 0:00 in the fourth quarter (or after the winning score in overtime).

  6. New video shows the NFL explanation is TOTALLY wrong! It shows Johnson immediately recover the ball! Typical NFL! You fans are too stupid to understand so we will feed you any line and you’ll accept it. Well, you’re ruining the game and that’s a shame!

  7. @david

    Bull! Thinly veiled? Sidelines has complained forever about hiring based upon skin, kin and now women!

    You are a typical layperson. You have no idea what you are talking about. Have you worked with any of these people? I can tell you from direct experience, that Jerome is competent and Sarah is not.

    As for no celebrations… get off of your high horse. Football is, has been and always will be a game of emotions. As Vince Lombardi once said, “If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm!” In your myopic, old man world without celebration… there is no Deion high steps, no Lambeau leap, no Victor Cruz salsa, no Billy white shoes, no fun bunch, no TO get your popcorn, no sack dance… etc etc etc.

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