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Under 2 min. PI reviews subject to 'stricter criteria'

The NFL confirmed Thursday that a replay official will initiate instant replay reviews of pass interference after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime.

As NFL Network's Judy Battista reported Wednesday, the Competition Committee decided against forcing coaches to challenge pass interference plays inside the two-minute warning.

The NFL's Football Operations department announced the decision after discussion with head coaches, team personnel and officials. Teams will have one week to provide additional feedback before the Competition Committee communicates the final rule.

Within the announcement, the league said the replay official will stop the game to initiate a review for PI "under stricter criteria" than other reviewable plays. The hope is that the "stricter criteria" will lessen the number of reviews within the last two minutes of the halves, as pace of play is a concern given that every pass play could conceivably be reviewable.

"A decision on the field will only be reversed when there is 'clear and obvious visual evidence' that warrants the change," the statement added.

The final rule determined that "Hail Mary" plays will be subject to pass interference review but will be evaluated in replay "consistent with the guidelines for officiating the play on the field." The language of the "Hail Mary" rule suggests the replay official will defer to the on-field refs for almost all end of game calls.

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