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Week 5 remainders: ‘punch and connect, you’re ejected’

Following up on some leftover items from Week 5.




Addressing a few questions that were raised during the week:

Medical and team timeouts. Near the end of the Monday night game, there was a confusing sequence surrounding a timeout for a head injury. Bucs center Joe Hawley was inadvertently contacted in the head at the conclusion of a late-fourth-quarter play. Hawley returned to the huddle slowly, and it caught the eye of the certified trainer (ATC spotter). The spotter is going to wait for either the referee or the team personnel to notice, and if it is not, then the ATC spotter will call a medical timeout. Because Hawley’s injury happened away from the dead-ball spot, it was not readily apparent to the officiating crew or the Buccaneers bench.

This medical timeout was explained by officiating head Dean Blandino in his weekly media tape.

When a medical timeout initiated by the ATC spotter it is handled differently than an injury timeout by the referee or team bench. Had an official called for an injury timeout, the Buccaneers would have been charged with a team timeout; even though the clock was stopped, a team is still charged for the timeout when the injury is after the two-minute warning. A medical timeout is probably better explained as a medical stoppage: the game and play clocks will freeze, if running, and resume once the player has left the field on the referee’s signal.

In this case, there were 7 seconds remaining on the play clock. By rule, any time the play clock is resumed with less than 10 seconds, it will reset to 10. When referee Clete Blakeman announced this, quarterback Jameis Winston protested, to which Blakeman was overheard saying “You’ll be alright” before closing his microphone. The Buccaneers then opted to take the timeout.

The Buccaneers are not be able to call consecutive timeouts, but since one was a medical timeout, this restriction is not placed on the Buccaneers.

Cyrus Jones ejection. Patriots cornerback Cyrus Jones was ejected from Sunday’s game, although the infraction was not caught by TV cameras. Referee Bill Vinovich explained to a pool reporter after the game what the call was, and its brevity is probably why this slipped by us on Sunday.

The entirety of the pool report:

Q: What led to Cyrus Jones’ disqualification at 10:59 of the third quarter?
Vinovich: It was deemed that he threw a punch.

Q: And the rule is simple, if you throw a punch…
Vinovich: Punch and connect, you are ejected.

This is not the record shortest pool report. That belongs to Walt Coleman, who was asked by a pool reporter about derogatory comments that allegedly were made by his umpire during a 2013 game. Because the question came up in postgame player interviews, Coleman was approached on the shuttle to his hotel by the reporter. The transcript:

Coleman: What’s your question?

Q: [asked about alleged comments]

Coleman: OK [motioned to bus driver to close the window]

Returning to Sunday’s ejection, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert reports that ejections through week 5 are equal to the number for the entire 2015 season — 4. Only one ejection this season was due to the NFL’s new unsportsmanlike conduct rule for automatic disqualifications.

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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