NFL Suspends Ref Who Screwed up the Clock on Monday Night Football
The NFL has disciplined the referee responsible for starting the clock too early on the Steelers’ final possession against the Chargers on Monday night. According to Pro Football Talk, side judge Rob Vernatchi, who inadvertently deprived Pittsburgh of 18 seconds, has been suspended for one week with pay.
The NFL has also disciplined the referee who missed the illegal bat penalty that may have affected the outcome of the previous week’s Monday Night Football matchup between the Seahawks and Lions. Back judge Greg Wilson has been reassigned from the Sunday night game between the Colts and Patriots to the Sunday afternoon game between the Titans and Dolphins.
It’s unclear why the league is only taking action against Wilson now. However, on Tuesday they issued an official statement about Vernatchi’s blunder:
Because of an error by the clock operator, the game clock was incorrectly started before the Steelers’ first play from scrimmage following the touchback. That first down snap came with 2:38 left to play instead of 2:56, a difference of 18 seconds. The official game time is kept on the stadium scoreboard, but it is the responsibility of the side judge to supervise the timing of the game. Had the side judge or any of the other six on-field officials noticed the timing error, they could have corrected it.
Unfortunately, there’s still no word on whether the NFL sent Le’Veon Bell a thank you card for totally saving their ass.
Hat Tip – [PFT]