NFL considering in-season change to challenge rule

Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

The NFL is considering an in-season change to the challenge rule, which prevents referees from reviewing scoring plays or turnovers if a coach throws the challenge flag.

The NFL is considering an in-season change to the challenge rule that prevents referees from reviewing plays if a coach throws the challenge flag on a scoring play or turnover, according to Ed Werder of ESPN on Friday afternoon.


Related: Changing the kickoff rule?


According to NFL vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, the league's competition committee will discuss the replay rule over the next few days with the potential for an in-season change.

The rule came under scrutiny after Thursday's nationally televised game between the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans, when Houston running back Justin Forsett recorded an 81-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Upon seeing the subsequent replays, Forsett was clearly down by contact after eight yards.


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Lions head coach Jim Schwartz immediately threw the red challenge flag to protest the call. However, under NFL rules, every scoring play is reviewed by the booth. By throwing the challenge flag, the Lions were assessed a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct and the referees were unable to review the play. This meant that the initial ruling of a touchdown could not be overturned.

The game ended up going into overtime, with the Lions losing on a field goal.

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