On Tuesday evening the NFL owners voted to approve a rule change for the 2019 season. Coaches will now be allowed to challenge offensive and defensive pass interference. This will include non-calls as well as penalties called by the officials. Those calls can be challenged in the first 28 minutes of each half. Questionable calls (and non-calls) will be subject to a booth review.
Thirty-one of the other thirty-two teams voted in favor of the proposed change. The Cincinnati Bengals were the only team vote against the proposal.
This change comes as too little, too late for the New Orleans Saints. Fans will remember the NFC Championship Game when Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman hit Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis on that infamous third-down play late in the fourth quarter. The non-call was cited as the reason for the Rams winning.
Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that this was about the league as a whole and not just placating the Saints:
“I personally believe it was the fact that every club wanted to get, and the league wanted to get these plays right,” Goodell said at a press conference immediately following the vote. “Replay is to get it right. And ultimately people compromised, I think, on long-held views because they want to get the system right. They want to get the play right.”
How will this effect the upcoming season? Will this rule change become a permanent fixture in the league?
Featured Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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