Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin was flagged for an illegal formation penalty that wiped out a touchdown in the final moments of Sunday night’s loss to the Giants, and after the game he said he checked with the official to make sure he was lined up legally.
McLaurin said that he was lined up on that play the same way he lined up on every play where he was supposed to be on the line of scrimmage, and that he turned to the official to see if he was on the line of scrimmage, the official told him to move up a little bit, and he did what the official told him.
“I felt like I was on the ball the entire time,” McLaurin said. “If you look through the game, I lined up there pretty much every play. I checked to see if I was good the first time and he was like, ‘Move up a little bit.’ So when I moved up, I checked to see if I was good, and he said I was good. I’m not trying to get fined.”
Video of the play shows McLaurin looking to the official on the sideline, the two of them appearing to communicate, and then McLaurin moving up a half-step. As soon as the ball was snapped, the official threw his penalty flag.
It was an incredibly costly penalty, one that could loom large over the rest of the Commanders’ season as they fight for a spot in the playoffs.