Two former heads of the NFL’s officiating department say Bears tight end Zach Miller was robbed of a touchdown on what turned out to be the last play of his season on Sunday.
Miller, who suffered a serious knee injury as he fell to the ground after catching a pass in the end zone, was initially ruled to have caught the pass. But on replay, V.P. of Officiating Al Riveron ruled that Miller hadn’t maintained control of the ball as he went to the ground.
Riveron’s predecessors Mike Pereira and Dean Blandino, who now work as FOX analysts, both said on their weekly online show that Riveron got it wrong.
“At some point the process of the catch ends, and it ends when he rolls over on the ground with control,” Blandino said. “It was ruled a catch on the field. I didn’t see anything definitive to overturn it and quite frankly, if it had been ruled incomplete on the field, if it had been me in the command center, I would have reversed it to a catch.”
Pereira agreed and said he’s concerned that the league’s officiating department is repeatedly overturning calls on the field when the video evidence simply does not justify that.
“Why are plays being reversed when we can’t find anything?” Pereira said. “Why in the heck are we having this discussion? There are three plays at least from this weekend.”
For Miller to lose a touchdown on a bad call as he suffered a gruesome knee injury was adding insult to injury.