Dante Fowler‘s kick-fumble in the season opener was athletic. It also was illegal.
The Jaguars linebacker was not penalized for kicking the ball out of the hands of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, but officials should have thrown two flags, according to the league’s officiating chief.
Alberto Riveron, in his first season as the NFL’s chief of officiating, featured the play on his video review of Week 1.
“There are actually two fouls on this play,” Riveron said on the video. “Number one, it is unnecessary roughness for the kick, which carries a 15-yard penalty from the previous spot and an automatic first down. Number two, we can also have illegally kicking the ball when in player possession. That foul carries a 10-yard penalty, and an automatic first down from the previous spot. However, only one of these fouls may be enforced.”
No flag was thrown by referee Tony Corrente and his crew.
Instead, Fowler was credited with a forced fumble, and his teammate, Yannick Ngakoue, recovered.