Robert Hunt’s illegal play becomes a sensation


Thursday night’s game included one of the most compelling plays that didn’t count in recent years.

Dolphins guard Robert Hunt snatched a screen pass as if he were the intended receiver. And that was just the beginning. He then ran the ball toward the end zone, dove for the goal line, and got there.

All the while, it was obviously an illegal play. He wasn’t an eligible receiver, and he hadn’t reported as one. But that only gave the “what the hell is happening?” moment even more of a “what the hell is happening?” vibe.

The play became a topic of discussion after the Miami win.

“It was a penalty,” an amused coach Brian Flores told reporters. “My perspective is it was a penalty. It was going to be a penalty. It was a penalty. I’m sure it was fun to watch for many, but it was a penalty.”

Flore was asked to assess Hunt’s effort to get the ball across the plane.

“Great effort,” Flores said. “Incredible effort. It’s a penalty, though. Maybe we’ll put a play in for him.”

They should. It was fun. Football is allowed to be fun. Having plays like that in the game plan breaks the monotony, excites a fan base. It can also help galvanize a team.

“I just saw the ball, and I don’t know,” Hunt said. “I just blanked out, man. I just caught the ball and tried to run with it.”

Hunt added that he isn’t asking to be involved in the offense going forward. He shouldn’t have to. He showed that he has the ability to catch the ball and to make something happen with it. So come up with a way to get him the ball in short-yardage or goal-line settings.

It would be fun. Football should be fun. The Chiefs do it, from time to time. It’s permissible in the right amount. The right amount is definitely more than none at all.