Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined for what NFL senior vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said should have been an unnecessary roughness penalty during last Monday night’s victory over the Bill, but the officials who should have called the foul will reportedly avoid league discipline.
Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that neither referee Walt Anderson nor any members of his officiating crew will be disciplined for the way they handled a series of events at the end of the first half. After Sherman, who was offside, plowed into Bills kicker Dan Carpenter in a dead ball situation, officials stood over the ball to reset it while the play clock ran down.
The Bills were flagged for delay of game and missed the ensuing 54-yard field goal, but Anderson and Blandino both said that the clock should have been reset following Sherman’s offside penalty.
While the missed penalty on Sherman has generated more attention, the inattention to detail regarding the game clock may have been the bigger miss by Anderson and crew. Penalties for actions on the field do get missed by human beings and replay isn’t permitted to offer a helping hand, but the more mundane administration of things like the game or play clock have resulted in discipline in the past. Side judge Rob Vernatchi was suspended for a week after 18 seconds ran off the clock erroneously in a Chargers-Steelers game last year.
Anderson and his crew have a scheduled week off in Week 10 and they will still be graded on their performance by the league, which grants postseason assignments to officials that have been rated the highest over the course of the season.