The propsal hopes to help avoid the type of missed call seen during the NFC Championship game in New Orleans.

By Emily Caron
January 30, 2019

The NFL competition committee is expected to consider a plan that would allow for limited coaches' challenges on what they deem incorrect judgement calls, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The plan could also include a penalty or time run off if the coach is wrong, in order to get more support for the reported proposal.

With the disincentive or penalty to even question a judgment call, the proposal argues that such challenges will rarely be used or abused.

The proposal was floated as a possible measure to avoid the type of missed call that was seen in the NFC Championship Game between the New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams.

The no-call came late in the tie game with under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Saints were on the Rams 13-yard line on a third-and-10 situation when quarterback Drew Brees threw an incomplete pass to receiver Tommylee Lewis. Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman appeared to interfere. 

The referees missed the blatant pass interference call, although Saints head coach Sean Payton said he called the NFL office following the loss and officials told him they blew the controversial no-call.

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After the game, Robey-Coleman himself also admitted the controversial call was pass interference. The cornerback was fined $26,739 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the play, which was another penalty that was not called on championship Sunday.

In the league's response to a lawsuit filed by Saints' fans, the NFL again admitted the officiating error in court documents, saying a call in fourth quarter should have been defensive pass interference or illegal contact to the helmet.

The committee will consider several proposals this offseason, but this one seems to already have significant traction, Schefter added. Requests were circulating to make pass interference calls reviewable, but there has been significant resistance to that suggestion.

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