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What Is The NFL Rule About Simultaneous Catch?

Matthew Tufts |
September 24, 2012 | 10:27 p.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Rule 8 - Section 3 - Article 1 - Item 5: Simultaneous Catch. If a pass is caught simultaneously by two eligible opponents, and both players retain it, the ball belongs to the passers. It is not a simultaneous catch if a player gains control first and an opponent subsequently gains joint control. If the ball is muffed after simultaneous touching by two such players, all the players of the passing team become eligible to catch the loose ball.

Interpretation of the rule and the official's on-field call:

The officials most likely saw this as a simultaneous catch. In this event, the catch goes to the offense and is ruled a touchdown. Upon review, it is clear that M.D. Jennings had possession first, before Golden Tate "subsequently gained joint control." In this event the catch should belong to M.D. Jennings and be ruled an interception; therefore, the Packers win.

However, officials are not allowed to reverse possession of the ball via replay; they can only confirm that the player had possession. Once it was signaled on the field that both receivers came down with the ball together (one referee signaled a touchdown, the other an interception), the NFL Rulebook states that the catch is ruled a touchdown. (Video below)

ALSO SEE: Packers-Seahawks: NFL Finally Got What It Had Coming and Packers-Seahawks Finish: Matt Barkley Calls It 'Bananas' And Other Tweets

ALSO SEE: Replacement Refs Bungle Seahawks Vs. Packers, Hurt NFL's ReputationPackers-Seahawks: NFL Finally Got What It Had Coming and Monday Night Football 'Touch-ception' Not Enough For NFL To Budge.

Reach Staff Writer Matthew Tufts here.



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