In a rare case of the league office changing a rule between the end of the regular season and the start of the playoffs, the NFL has decided to add clock errors to the list of mistakes that can be fixed by instant replay.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that starting with this weekend’s playoff games, instant replay can be used to review whether time expired prior to, during or after the last play of either half or overtime.
The decision to tweak the replay rules comes in direct response to a December play in which Eagles linebacker Moise Fokou recovered a fumble by Giants punt returner Domenik Hixon. The Eagles were denied the ability to capitalize on the turnover because time expired in the first half — but replay evidence suggested that a second should have remained after the play ended.
The rule change is temporary for just this postseason. The Competition Committee will review the matter during the off-season and the teams will vote on whether to adopt the rule for the 2010 regular season.