In a year marred by questionable failures to respect the very high bar that applies to overturning rulings on the field via replay review, NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron finally has completed a 180.
His critical decision to confirm a ruling of a touchdown catch by Eagles running back Corey Clement demonstrates the kind of stubborn adherence to the “clear and obvious” standard for overturning rulings on the field that Riveron should have been using all year long.
It appears that Clement bobbled the ball before finally securing it. Once he gained possession, he didn’t get two feet in bounds. But it wasn’t a “clear and obvious” error by the officials on the field, apparently.
The problem arises from the fact that the shifting application of the standard has created expectations by some that a frame-by-frame assessment of key catches will be made, at least until the NFL can revisit the situation in the offseason. This time around, Riveron applied the standard the way he should have been applying it all year.