The Arizona Cardinals could have lost their game on Sunday, as the referees incorrectly awarded the Seattle Seahawks a timeout they should not have had. When Doug Baldwin could not haul in a pass in the end zone, there was an injury timeout called. Since it was in the last two minutes of the game, the Seahawks were charged their third and final timeout.
Later, as Seattle was in the redzone, Pete Carroll called timeout (one he did not have) and the officials granted it. However, after about five minutes of conferring, the officiating crew decided that since the pass was incomplete when Baldwin was down with injury, that the clock did not stop, therefore no timeout should have been called.
They were wrong.
The NFL rulebook says this:
INJURY TIMEOUTS AFTER TWO-MINUTE WARNING OF EITHER HALF Article 4
After the two-minute warning of a half, the following shall apply: (a) If a team has not used its three charged team timeouts, the team of the injured player will be chargeda team timeout, unless: (i) the injury is the result of a foul by an opponent; (ii) the injury occurs during a down in which there is a change of possession, a successful field goal, or an attempted Try; or (iii) the opponent calls a timeout. (b) If a team has used its three charged team timeouts, an excess team timeout shall be called by the Referee, unless: (i) the injury is the result of a foul by an opponent; (ii) the injury occurs during a down in which there is a change of possession, a successful field goal, or an attempted Try; or (iii) the opponent calls a timeout.
None of those things happened, meaning Seattle never should have been given the timeout. IN the end it did not matter, but it became very stressful for fans.
After the game, the Cardinals released this:
Pool report with referee Bruce Hermansen about not charging Seattle a timeout when receiver Doug Baldwin suffered an injury with 42 seconds remaining.
Q. Can you clarify the situation with the timeout at the end of the game?
A. "It was my error. We gave them (Seattle) the additional timeout because of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it's stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional timeout."
The league dodged a bullet. As much as we dislike the regular refs, this is getting out of hand. The Cards got a win, but the league has a bit of egg on its face.