NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said there was not enough evidence to overturn a fumble by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick at the end of his team's 13-10 loss to the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
With one timeout left and going for the game-winning score on third-and-goal, Kaepernick tried a quarterback sneak but fumbled near the goal line with two seconds left. Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis came up with the loose ball and the play was ruled a touchback.
Replay officials reviewed and upheld the play. Blandino later explained that there was no camera angle that showed whether Kaepernick fumbled before he crossed the goal line.
"Kaepernick goes into the pile, the umpire sees the ball loose, he has 55 on St. Louis recovering the loose ball," Blandino said on NFL Network's NFL AM. "It went to review, we looked at it. There's one angle from behind the defense where you can see Kaepernick going toward the ground, the ball does come loose, but you never saw a body part like an elbow or a knee down prior to that. It was impossible to tell where the ball was in relation to the goal line before it came out, so again, the ruling on the field stood.
"The evidence just wasn't definitive either way, and that's why the call stood as called."
"I know I crossed the line. I was looking into the end zone," Kaepernick said, according to ESPN.com. "I did bobble the snap, but regardless."
The loss to St. Louis was San Francisco’s second in a row and dropped it to 4-4, third place in the NFC West. The 49ers take on the Saints in New Orleans (4-4) on Sunday.
- Scooby Axson