After Cleveland wide receiver Josh Cribbs suffered an injury in the final play of Monday night’s Ravens-Browns game, PFT’s Mike Florio pointed out that there wouldn’t have been time for that play if not for the officials giving the Browns a fourth timeout.
Now the league has admitted the mix-up: In the second half, the Browns called four timeouts, and the officials allowed Cleveland to have all four of them.
In this video at NFL.com, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen asks head of officiating Mike Pereira bluntly, “A team in the NFL got a fourth timeout. How did that happen?”
Said Pereira, “Well, I mean, it happened because we as a group — as a crew — failed to record. . . . Everybody on the field basically forgot to record the penalty — I mean, the timeout — and the scoreboard did, too.”
Although Pereira mentioned that the scoreboard erroneously showed Cleveland having an extra timeout, he said he wasn’t trying to blame the stadium scoreboard operator.
“All our fault,” Pereira said. “It’s not the scoreboard operator’s responsibility, it’s our responsibility to record all timeouts and we’re going to initiate a change over these situations. When a team uses all their timeouts we now — the referee has to go over and tell the head coach. . . . These types of administrative things should never happen, and we accept responsibility.”
It’s good that Pereira accepts responsibility, but it’s amazing that the mistake happened in the first place. NFL officials have tough jobs, and everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But it doesn’t seem like too much to ask that all officials be able to count to three.