The replacement referee situation has gotten out of hand as the NFL continues to low-ball their normal refs as they keep them locked out. Missed calls, clock errors, and just flat-out bad penalties are now a common sight in the NFL, leaving us begging for the return of the normal refs. The Cincinnati Bengals were almost the latest victim of a replacement-ref blunder.
Leading the Washington Redskins by 7 with 1:07 left in the game, the Skins Former NFL Vice President of OfficiatingMike Pereira summed up what transpired very well:
Here was the situation: Washington had the ball, first-and-10 from the Washington 13-yard line with 1:26 left in the game. Cincinnati led 38-31.
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III completed an 11-yard pass to Josh Morgan, who was injured on the play and the clock was stopped at the 1:07 mark. The referee announced that there was a 10-second runoff and the clock should have been reset to 57 seconds, but it was not.
This is hard to explain. The replacement referee made the correct announcement since the injury caused the clock to stop and there needed to be a 10-second runoff. The rule states that inside of two minutes, if the offense sustains an injury that stops the clock, there is a 10-second runoff, unless the offense still has a timeout remaining. Washington did not have any timeouts left and therefore, the 10-second runoff was the proper interpretation.
But wait. Somebody got involved and told the referee it wasn’t a 10-second runoff. So no runoff was enforced, but there should have been.
Joe Reedy and an NFL spokesman confirmed this today:
League spokesman says a 10-second runoff should have been applied on the Redskins injury with 1:07 remaining.
— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) September 24, 2012
The Redskins were later penalized on the same drive for unsportsmanlike conduct, a 15-yard penalty, which meant from the CIN-39 yard-line, the ball should have been spotted at the WAS-46. Instead, the ball was incorrectly spotted at the WAS 41. This lead to Robert Griffin III’s hail mary attempt to the endozne to be 5 yards longer, and his pass was knocked down at the Bengals’ 10-yard line and the game came to an end.
While the extra 10 seconds added on didn’t cost the Bengals, this simply is unacceptable, and Roger Goodell has to do something to get the real referees back as soon as possible.