In a play that was reminiscent of last year’s Victor Cruz maneuver at Arizona, Chiefs receiver Dexter McCluster left the ball on the field after injuring his elbow while falling to the ground.
McCluster suffered the injury after stretching out to catch a ball that was behind him, using his arm to brace his fall. The arm extended awkwardly.
The officials ruled that McCluster was down, although it wasn’t as clear as it was on the Cruz play that McCluster was declaring himself down.
After a challenge from the Saints, the call on the field was overturned, giving the Saints possession at the spot of the recovery. If the call had been ruled that way at the time, it would have been a touchdown for the Saints.
“I don’t agree with the ruling,” NBC officiating consultant Jim Daopoulos said in the viewing room. “He was injured. It’s like he’s saying, ‘I’m down.’ He’s not trying to gain any yardage.”