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League spokesman: Sproles' TD should have been reviewed

  • By Marc Sessler NFL.com
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One of Sunday's highly questionable calls should have been reviewed, according to a league spokesman.

A swing pass to Darren Sproles that produced a 12-yard touchdown with 12:05 left in the Saints' 30-13 win caused uproar among viewers after the New Orleans back appeared to step out of bounds at the 2-yard line.

"There was a miscommunication between the replay booth -- which should have called for a review -- and the field," an NFL spokesman told ESPN Chicago on Tuesday, adding that the touchdown "should have been reviewed."

If the call bothered you, take heart. It also baffled former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira, who said the play was not a touchdown.

"I sat there and looked at that like everybody else like, 'What the heck happened here?'" Pereira told ESPN 1000 on Tuesday. "Now you look at that and really -- even after the game -- I thought there has to be more than this, than just the replay assistant saying that he confirmed that Sproles wasn't out of bounds. As it turns out I'm not sure if it was a technology breakdown or just a communications breakdown. ... The replay official upstairs tried to page to the referee (on the field) to say that he needed to review it."

Added Pereira: "The referee looked at his pager and it said, 'confirmed' apparently instead of 'review.'... So somewhere in this process of paging, there was a breakdown, and you'd at least like to hope that it was technology as opposed to the human element of choosing not to review that because it was not a touchdown."

New rules starting this season handed replay officials the mandate to review all scoring plays. It was a move intended to save coaches from wasting replay flags in these situations, but try telling that to Lovie Smith.

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