The NFL adopted a new catch rule at this week’s league meetings, but the league’s head of officiating Al Riveron said on Wednesday that the rule was not used to rule on a touchdown catch by Eagles running back Corey Clement in Super Bowl LII.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN said earlier this week that it was “clear” after talking to Riveron that the league used the new criteria to rule on Clement’s catch and said they were “basically legislating on the fly” during the game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked if that was the case during a Wednesday press conference and called Riveron to the podium to give an answer.
Riveron said that the new standard for a catch, which allows for some ball movement while completing the play, was not in effect while reviewing Clement’s touchdown. Riveron said the ball did move, but that there was not “indisputable” evidence that the running back lost control of the ball at any point.
Riveron was later asked if the replay standard for a catch used in the regular season changed for the postseason and said that there was also no change on that front.
The new catch rule, which passed unanimously, calls for a player to have control, two feet or another body part down, and make a football move — a third step or reaching the ball toward the line to gain — or have the ball long enough to make a move in order to be a completed pass.