NFL officials are talking about revamping the tuck rule.
Dean Blandino, the league’s director of officiating, said in a video distributed to the media that the NFL’s Competition Committee plans to review the tuck rule, which was made famous on January 19, 2002, when an apparent Tom Brady fumble was overturned to an incomplete pass, paving the way for the Patriots to beat the Raiders en route to New England’s first Super Bowl title.
“This is going to be part of a bigger discussion in the offseason of QB pass/fumbles and the tuck rule with the Competition Committee,” Blandino said. “This will be discussed in the offseason.”
Blandino referenced a play on Sunday when Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was first ruled to have fumbled when he was hit from behind and lost the ball — a ruling that was overturned on replay when the referee called it an incomplete pass. Blandino said the referee’s ruling was based on a belief that Luck was purposely bringing his hand forward in an attempt to throw a pass, and did not have his hand pushed forward when he was hit from behind.
“It was ruled on the field a fumble and the key here is the tuck rule,” Blandino said. “The rule is, if the quarterback brings his arm up to throw in an obvious passing motion, any intentional forward movement of the hand with control of the football will constitute a forward pass. That’s the rule.”
At least, that’s the rule for now. It might not remain the rule for much longer.