The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the St. Louis Rams, 19-17, but had a chance to kick a game-winning field goal in the closing seconds.
On second down from the Tampa Bay 39, quarterback Josh McCown threw a 29-yard pass to receiver Mike Evans, who got injured on the play. Evans attempted to get up, but fell back to the ground in pain with about 10 seconds remaining. Because the Buccaneers did not have any timeouts remaining, the 10-second runoff was rule was invoked, ending the game.
The runoff rule reads as follows: "A team cannot buy an excess time out for a penalty. However, a fourth time out is allowed without penalty for an injured player, who must be removed immediately. ... Additionally, if the clock was running and the score is tied or the team in possession is losing, the ball cannot be put in play for at least 10 seconds on the fourth or more time out. The half or game can end while those 10 seconds are run off on the clock."
Media reaction to the final play was overwhelmingly negative:
Really interesting Bucs/Evans situation. "We're all for player safety, but don't you dare need medical attention in last 10 seconds"— Greg A. Bedard (@GregABedard) September 14, 2014
If the officials know the situation, shouldn't they give Evans a few seconds to get up there??— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 14, 2014
Bizarre way for Bucs-Rams to end ... Almost like Tampa was penalized for Mike Evans getting shaken up.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 14, 2014
Tampa Bay kicker Patrick Murray was 1-for-2 on field goal attempts in the game. At the start of the fourth quarter, Murray's 24-yard attempt was blocked. On the Buccaneers' next offensive series, Murray made a 36-yard field goal.
- Sarah Barshop