NFL OKs, Then Repeals Justin Tucker Dropkick

Todd Karpovich

Justin Tucker is not only the most accurate kicker in NFL history, he also has a few tricks up his sleeve.

Sometimes, he even changes the rules of the game. 

The Ravens were apparently lined up for an onside kick trailing Kansas City 33-28 with just over two minutes to play in their Week 3 matchup. 

Instead, Tucker surprised them with an unconventional dropkick. 

The Chiefs returner Mecole Hardman called for a fair catch, meaning no time ran off the clock. As a result, Kansas City was forced to run a play before the two-minute warnings and the Ravens were able to save their final timeout. 

The Ravens had asked about the legality of the kick leading up to the game and they were assured it was okay.  

After the game, the NFL reconsidered and ruled the kick was illegal. So, we won't be seeing that strategy again. 

"They looked at it afterwards. Just to be clear about that – and I think it's really important to understand this – we were in contact with the league officiating office all the way through," Harbaugh said. "We didn't just pull it out and decide to try it and sneak it past them. A drop kick is defined the way it's defined. We talked to them. We explained exactly what we were doing and how it was going to go, and they said it was legal, we could do it." 

Harbaugh was the special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles before being hired as the head coach in Baltimore. He takes special pride in the efficiency of that unit and doesn't leave anything to chance. 

He was happy the Ravens were able to deploy the strategy even though they lost 33-28.

"We talked to the officials before the game," Harbaugh said. "They called the league office again. They had been in contact with the league office, the officiating office, and they said it was legal. Probably, the competition committee decided they didn't want to see it, someone on the competition committee – probably the chairman – decided with Alberto [Riveron] he didn't want to see it. So now, it's not legal. So, that's pretty much how it works and how it worked in this case.”