This Blown Penalty From Last Night's Bengals-Packers Game Is Why The NFL Is Concerned About Replacement Refs

Immediately after catching a 22-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers during the first quarter of Thursday’s game versus the Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree was leveled by safety Taylor Mays.

The ref, er replacement ref, called a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Mays even though he clearly led with his shoulder and it looked completely by the books. Take a look (via SB Nation):

Taylor Mays Tom Crabtree hit penalty

Photo: SB Nation

May’s hit was a clean shoulder-to-shoulder blow. The league has increased its emphasis on diminishing vicious hits, but this one isn’t against the rules. The replacement refs, however, awarded Green Bay with 15 extra yards.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis wasn’t happy after the game.

All indications point to replacement refs being used for at least the first couple of weeks of the regular season. Their mistakes are understandable in that they come from significantly lower levels of football (Division II, Arena Football League, etc.) and are still learning the intricacies of NFL officiating. Likewise, whatever issues arise probably aren’t going to be rampant enough to alter every game they call. Nonetheless, a 15-yard penalty after an already big play for a first down can make a big difference in a game.

Hopefully this problem will be fixed soon.

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