Cribbs injury was set up by fourth time out for Browns

As it turns out, the Stanford-band play that ended Monday night’s game with Browns receiver Josh Cribbs being carted off the field should have never happened.

Not just because the play shouldn’t have been called, but because the Browns never should have been in position to call the play.  In fact, the Browns never should have gotten the ball back at the end of the game.

The Browns never should have gotten the ball back because they took — and were awarded — a fourth time out during the second half.

A league source tipped us off to the glitch, and we’ve gone back and confirmed it via DVR and the official play-by-play at

Cleveland took an initial time out with 3:24 to play in the third quarter.  The Browns took their second time out with 3:35 to play in the game.  And the third time out was used with 3:29 to go.

So when the Ravens had a first down at the Cleveland 39 with two minutes to play, Baltimore should have been able to kill the remaining time with only three snaps (barring an incomplete pass or a run out of bounds).

But the Browns called time out again after the first play following the two-minute warning.  As a result, the Ravens turned the ball over on downs with 20 seconds to play, giving the Browns a chance to run three more plays — including the one that sent Cribbs to the hospital.

24 responses to “Cribbs injury was set up by fourth time out for Browns

  1. Cribbs took a hard hit when returning a kick in what I believe was the 3rd quarter. On a later kick, the typically sure-handed returner fumbled it for a split second before recovering.
    My guess is he sustained the concussion on that hit in the earlier in the game, and that final play only worsened the condition. Isn’t the NFL supposed to be overly cautious with concussions these days?

  2. Wait a second……Lord Florio complains about the ref’s making a mistake during a garbage browns game, yet called Edwards a bonehead when the ref’s admit they blew that call also?
    Dayum Florio, are you completely unable to hide your bias????? To answer my own question, yes!

  3. conveniently eliminated the 4th Brown timeout from the Play By Play, although it’s still pretty clear that they took one when you consider that the Ravens ran a play at 2:00 then ran another one at 1:55. It would be amazing if they did that without a timeout when the running back was tackled in the middle of the field.

  4. I was wondering how come the announcers didn’t notice it. Because they had said earlier that there were no timeouts. The little things below the score even had nothing for the timeouts for the Browns yet they still called. I guess everybody fell asleep tonight.

  5. The browns were just stupid.. Why risk the injury when you know as well the game is over. Take the knee and call it a night, now their best player aside from shaun rodgers is probably out.

  6. You know, I saw the Browns call a timeout and I was thinking, “I thought they had already used their 3 timeouts.” I wasn’t paying close enough attention to care. But that’s interesting, maybe I was right (I’m not ballsy enough to put my money on Florio even if I agree with him).
    Cleveland took AN initial timeout…

  7. Nice.
    Apparently the League changed the play by play at It no longer shows the 4th timeout. Although by the times shown, apparently Baltimore was able to run two running plays within 5 seconds.
    Willis McGahee had two runs, one at the 2:00 mark and one at 1:55, with apparently no time out called. You gotta get off the ground and lineup fast to pull that one off! LOL

  8. It was a last ditch play anyways. The vicious hit on Cribbs was completely unnecessary. This is the mindset that the NFL is trying to get away from. These are actual human beings on the field that are playing. Players should try to block and tackle, not maim and kill. Would this give us a weaker product on the field? Maybe. But its better then all the injuries substantiated and the harsh decline in health after playing.

  9. I couldn’t believe it when they called that 4th timeout, and got it.
    I had the Ravens and the under, waiting for the game to end.

  10. What’s with the incompetence level of the officials this season. They can’t count, they don’t know the rules, they don’t assess penalties when they should (Dallas GB when no Delay of Game 15yd penalty was called when Mike McCarthy used three challenges in the 2nd half) , they miss ridicullously obvious penalties on the field of play.

  11. Bill In DC:
    I was wondering why McCarthy was not given an unsportsmanlike or delay of game penalty for trying to use a third challenge when he had none left, too. I remember when the Skins called back-to-back timeouts and got a 15yd penalty which won the game on a shorter FG for the Bills, and Gibbs got crucified. The announcers didn’t even say anything about the possibility of a penalty for McCarthy.

  12. I understand about the TO’s, but as WorldChampionBears2009 commented, wouldn’t you fall asleep too if you had to officiate a Browns game? And with Lions next on the docket, make sure that there’s plenty of “no-doze” in the ref’s lockerroom.
    Maybe they should have given some of those to BQ… on sideline patterns at the end of the game, he couldn’t even throw the ball and keep it on the field. WOW, and I thought Mark “we let Kurt Warner walk for this guy??” Bulger sucked? Quinn redefines that statement.
    As a Rams fan… misery loves company, I feel for you Cleveland.

  13. The Browns are so bad the league should give them an extra time out each half. How can Mangini keep track of these things when he’s mentally updating his resume throughout the course of the game.
    The league should also let the Browns have twelve men on the field just to make things fair.

  14. “BenRapistberger says:
    November 17, 2009 7:54 AM
    Imagine if Bill B and the Pats got a 4th timeout?”
    The league is waiting for Brady to signal the refs to throw him a 4th timeout. BB is saving that move for the playoffs.

  15. My dad and I caught this as it happens. We were certain enough to yell out for Mangini to call for a 5th time out. We figured if they were just giving them away, why not?
    Since Mangini used none of his timeouts in the first half, we sort of figured he had some sort of AT&T rollover plan where he got to carry a timeout or two over from the first half.

  16. The Browns have a nucleus of good young talent, and Josh Cribbs is part of that. I can’t believe Mangini would risk injury to Cribbs like that unless his job was on the line.
    Maybe they should just fire Mangini now for general incompetence.

  17. “A league source tipped us off to the glitch, and we’ve gone back and confirmed it via DVR and the official play-by-play at”
    “Apparently the League changed the play by play at It no longer shows the 4th timeout. Although by the times shown, apparently Baltimore was able to run two running plays within 5 seconds.”
    The 4th timeout has disappeared from the play by play.
    Apparently that garbage that comes out of Goodell’s mouth about “protrecting the integrity of the NFL” does not apply to league staffers.
    To knowingly, intentionally change what was an obvious mistake by the NFL officials is disingenuous at best but more likely intentionally dishonest to protect the league’s image. How incongrous is that, we’ll lie so we look better? And then they get caught.
    Let’s see how they handle the PR aspect of this one.

  18. “I can’t believe Mangini would risk injury to Cribbs like that unless his job was on the line.”
    Perish the thought; what would ever give you that idea?

  19. I can’t wait to hear the NFL explain this one away. Unbelievably incompetent officiating. I’m not sure why I’m surprised though. This year has been one of the worst when it comes to missed calls, phantom calls, and apparently the inability to count to 3.

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