Inside the Panthers

Cardinals’ Bruce Arians: Official said fumble Panthers returned for TD was incomplete pass

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) heads to the enzone for a touchdown after recovering a fumble against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of the Panthers’ 30-20 victory on Sunday. Arizona coach Bruce Arians said Monday an official told him the touchdown should have been overturned.
Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) heads to the enzone for a touchdown after recovering a fumble against the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of the Panthers’ 30-20 victory on Sunday. Arizona coach Bruce Arians said Monday an official told him the touchdown should have been overturned. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians informed reporters on Monday that an official told him at halftime of Sunday’s Carolina Panthers victory that the early fumble by quarterback Carson Palmer should have been ruled a forward pass, and that the replay malfunctioned.

The fumble, forced by heavy pressure from defensive tackle Star Lotulelei, was scooped up by Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis and run back for a touchdown.

According to the Arizona Republic’s Kent Somers, Arians said the replay official, Louis Nazarro, “went with his naked eye on the call” and that there was no video to watch, including in New York.

Davis’ play on the loose ball set the tone early for a 30-20 Carolina victory.

The linebacker didn’t celebrate his first professional touchdown, because he said he thought it might get called back.

“What I thought I saw was just the empty hands,” said Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on Monday afternoon. “I know he was trying to throw it because No. 31 (running back David Johnson) was in the area. But again, I mean when he got hit and he got shook around it looked like the empty hand to me.”

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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