There were two game-winning field goals in the NFL this weekend, and they had one thing in common — both kickers got to take a practice kick.
In the Denver-Baltimore game, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker used the intermission between the first and second overtimes to get some kicks in on the field. An assistant coach even came out to hold (screenshot via Deadspin):
Photo: Screenshot via Deadspin
Fox rules expert Mike Pereira took to Twitter after the game, and said, “Officials are told not to allow a practice kick on the field. If it happens they’re to tell him to get off the field. No penalty.”
So it’s not allowed, but there’s no rule. So it’s allowed.
Something similar happened at the end of the Seahawks-Falcons game. When Peter Carroll called a timeout to “ice” Falcons kicker Matt Bryant with 13 seconds left, Atlanta snapped the ball anyway, allowing Bryant a practice kick when the play was officially dead (he missed it).
The camera cut to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who was irate on the sideline because he was told no practice kicks would be allowed, telling NFL Network:
“The officials told us before the game that nobody’s going to get a chance to do that. I asked them pregame what if somebody does, and they didn’t know what the answer was, obviously. I had never heard that before, so I was just challenging it.”
Everyone agrees that kickers can’t take practice kicks, but there’s no rule for it.
You have to respect the kickers for taking advantage of this loophole. But it’s something the NFL definitely needs to address and definitively rule on one way or the other.
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