NFL explains controversial OPI call against Redskins

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Confusion and controversy abounded Thursday night amid the Cincinnati Bengals-Washington Redskins game following an offensive pass interference call.

In the fourth quarter, offensive PI was called on Washington receiver Kelvin Harmon when he went airborne and reached back for an underthrown Dwayne Haskins pass over Bengals defensive back Davontae Harris.

A 10-yard penalty was enforced against the Redskins, who subsequently challenged the play, but it was upheld and the call stood.

On Friday, the official NFL Officiating Twitter account explained why the call was not overturned.

"The on-field officials called OPI for a push off by WAS 13 at the 50-yard line, well before he jumped to catch the ball," the statement began. "There was no clear and obvious visual evidence from the available broadcast video that the ruling was incorrect, so the on-field ruling stands."

A follow-up tweet explained that via a coaches video, which was not available on the game broadcast, it could be seen that Harris was off-balance after contact was made by Harmon, which was the origin of the call.

"All I know is I want Kelvin Harmon to do that every time the ball is in the air," Redskins coach Jay Gruden, who challenged the play, told reporters after the game. "That's why we drafted him because he's aggressive when the ball in the air. If he can't do what he did in this game then I don't know what he can do. I'm going to continue to coach Kelvin Harmon to go up and go get the ball like he did tonight and good things will happen for him.

"We'll get the explanation hopefully tomorrow or the next day, but I applaud Kelvin for his effort for attacking the ball."

The explanation has been made. Whether it affects how receivers go up for the ball going forward remains to be seen.

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