The Lions-Texans Thanksgiving game has produced arguably the season’s strangest call since the NFL owners lifted the lockout to allow full-time officials back on the field.
With the Lions leading 24-14 in the third quarter, the Texans’ Justin Forsett took a hand-off and ran up the middle for what appeared to be tackled after an 8-yard gain. When no officials blew the whistle, Forsett alertly extended the play running 81 yards for a touchdown.
Officials ruled the play a touchdown on the field, despite Forsett’s knee and elbow hitting the Ford Field turf. A reversal appeared to be in order upon the automatic replay review following all scoring plays.
Before replay officials could review the play, Lions coach Jim Schwartz threw his red challenge flag, which by rule, calls for a 15-yard penalty and nullifying the automatic review.
rule is if the coach throws the flag before the Replay official initiates a review,the play cannot be reviewed. This will change.—
Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) November 22, 2012
Replay cannot initiate review of ruling against team that commits foul that delays next snap, such as illegal challenge flag—
Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 22, 2012
As a result of Schwartz challenging a play that was automatically reviewed, the touchdown ruling stood and the Texans drew to within three points, 24-21.