It’s Day Four since the non-call heard ’round the world, and the NFL has yet to say anything about it. By the weekend, the league could be saying something about it, indirectly.
The video that shows Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman interfering with Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis as the ball approaches also shows Robey-Coleman make helmet-to-helmet contact with a receiver in a defenseless posture. Despite not being flagged, Robey-Coleman could be fined for the illegal hit to a defenseless player.
If the league office fines Robey-Coleman, the league will necessarily be admitting that a flag should have been thrown.
The admission could become even more explicit, if Robey-Coleman appeals. In cases like this, a player who gets fined without being flagged will argue that the absence of a flag proves he shouldn’t be fined. And that will force the league to say, within the confines of the appeal, that the flag erroneously wasn’t thrown.
The machinations of the league’s internal appeal processes remain a far cry from a public statement acknowledging error. But that may be the closest the league ever comes to making that acknowledgement. Unless senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron decides to tackle the missed call in an official video addressing the various calls that cry out for explanation from Championship Sunday.