The NFL has moved forward with altering the catch rule to help create more clarity in terms of what is deemed a catch to erase any level of confusion around it. This had reached a breaking point this past season with many different instances where it became an issue on the field in crucial moments.
However, the league officials seemed to take a different approach in Super Bowl LII with a few of the touchdown receptions by the Philadelphia Eagles. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron stated that this new rule was not used during the contest on the Corey Clement touchdown.
The NFL adopted a new catch rule at this week’s league meetings, but the league’s head of officiating Al Riveron said on Wednesday that the rule was not used to rule on a touchdown catch by Eagles running back Corey Clement in Super Bowl LII.
It was a play that could have gone either way as Clement looked to be bobbling the ball before gaining full control of it before heading out of bounds. There had been the expectation that the officials would go the other way and rule it incomplete after viewing the replay. Instead, they let the play stand in what proved to be one of the crucial plays.
The officials also looked to take that similar approach on Pro Bowl tight Zach Ertz’s go-ahead touchdown catch that saw him outstretch for the goal line. Ertz had reached over the end zone and lost a bit of the control of the ball as he hit the ground. Nonetheless, the touchdown was upheld by the officials in the contest.
Although Riveron stated that the NFL did not use those new standards for the Super Bowl, it does provide a bit of the taste for what the type of calls the referees will make. It’s a change that could have a tremendous impact on how the game is officiated in that regard.