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NFL mulls expanding video after botched call

AFP-JIJI

The NFL will consider allowing video reviews of pass interference calls, according to multiple reports Monday, in the wake of a heartbreaking no-call in the NFC Championship Game.

The Washington Post and ESPN reported the league will consider expanding its video replay to include pass interference plays, citing unnamed league sources.

“It will be discussed at length along with additional fouls that coaches feel should be subject to review,” one source told the Post, another saying consideration would be given to calls and plays lacking a penalty.

The New Orleans Saints were seething after what appeared a certain pass interference call was not whistled by an official, denying the Saints a chance to run down the clock and try a short last-play field goal to beat the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Instead, the Rams matched the Saints’ field goal in the dying seconds of regulation and won 26-23 in overtime to book a Super Bowl 53 berth against the New England Patriots.

Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, told Saints coach Sean Payton after the game that officials on the field botched the call.

“It’s devastating to us,” Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead said. “You can admit, apologize, but we’re on our way home. We get that call, we’ve got a pretty good chance to be playing in two weeks against the Patriots.”

Any change must be approved by 75 percent of the 32 club owners, but the competition committee has opposed making judgment calls like pass interference reviewable by video replay.

That, however, was before one of the greatest officiating blunders in NFL history.

On the crucial play, Saints quarterback Drew Brees threw a pass toward receiver Tommylee Lewis but Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman slammed into Lewis well before the football arrived. The pass was incomplete. No penalty was called.

Even Robey admitted after the play he should have been called for pass interference.