The Cardinals' first offensive possession almost ended before it started on Sunday against the Jaguars. After the Arizona defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, rookie Rondale Moore was back deep to return the punt.
He camped underneath the ball, but its spin shifted as it fell toward the rookie. Moore muffed the punt, but fortunately Cardinals cornerback Antonio Hamilton dived on it before it could result in a turnover.
The replay revealed that the official threw his penalty flag for an illegal block and it hit the ball as it descended. This caused it to move and Moore to lose it.
"I've never seen that before," Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury said during his Monday press conference. "I don't know if (Moore) even knew what had happened, but it looked kind of like The Twilight Zone. He had it and then all of the sudden he didn't have it."
Kingsbury said Moore did not mention that happening, just that the rookie was hard on himself for losing the ball.
Moore bounced back on his next return, though, as he gained 27 yards to start off a touchdown drive.
Still, that mishap could have been disastrous for Arizona had the Jaguars picked up the football.
"I didn't know that it had occurred, but you would think that maybe we can adjust that rule because it seems quite unfair that we would lose the ball if that ref happens to hit it," Kingsbury said. "I think the ref should probably be ejected at that point."
Kingsbury mentioned that the unusual nature of the play probably won't result in it being a topic of discussion for offseason rule changes. However, since it almost cost his team, he would be for some sort of legislation to avoid it happening in the future.
He said, "Considering this is probably the first time it's ever happened in the history of the league, I don't know if they'll really put it up at the owner's meeting rules proposals, but I would be all for it."
Of course, someone would have had to notice that's what happened, and there was no evidence anyone did until video began circulating on social media.