NFL owners passed a measure Tuesday that will allow officials to consult with the league’s officiating department during replay reviews in certain administrative areas.
Commissioner Roger Goodell implemented the rule last year for the playoffs following a couple of high-profile mistakes involving game-clock management and penalty assessment in 2015.
Tuesday’s vote makes permanent Goodell’s measure, but only in helping on-field officials with issues involving proper down, assessment of penalty yardage and clock management.
“If they have a question, they can ask New York and New York can obviously weigh in,” competition committee chairman Rich McKay said. “In penalty enforcement if there’s a question or there’s going to be an error they can fix it on the field, like we did last year in the playoffs.”
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Making sure the clock is being operated properly would seem to be an easy process. But side judge Rob Vernatchi was suspended for a week last season after failing to spot a clock error when 18 seconds were allowed to run off the clock in Pittsburgh’s win at San Diego in October.
A few weeks later officials missed a false start penalty that was critical in Jacksonville’s win against Baltimore.
Owners considered two other rule proposals Tuesday, voting down a proposal by Washington that would have eliminated the first roster cutdown from 90 to 75 players during the preseason.
Owners tabled a measure to let coaches and players to look at video replays on tablets on the sideline. The league will allow the use of videos on the sideline during the exhibition season on a trial basis.