Washington appeared to catch a break on Sunday night when a punt bounced into a Dallas player, and Washington recovered. But the break didn’t last long.
After the officials discussed it, they ruled that the Washington player blocked the Dallas player into the ball while the Dallas player was standing there passively, which under the rules means the Dallas player did not touch the ball at all. After the game, Shanahan sounded unhappy with the officials about that ruling.
“I can’t figure it out. I can’t figure it out. I don’t think they could figure it out,” Shanahan said.
NFL Rule 9, Article 2, Section 4 says that “a player is not considered to have touched the ball if he is blocked into it by an opponent, provided he is in a passive position and not blocking. A player who is engaged with and blocking his opponent when he contacts the ball is deemed to have touched the ball.” So what it comes down to is a judgment call by the officials: Was the Dallas player engaged and blocking? Or was he in a passive position?
The officials thought he was passive. Shanahan disagreed, but the call isn’t reviewable.
“You can’t challenge it,” Shanahan said. “When the official makes that call there’s nothing you can do about it.”