NFL admits hit on Browns QB Mayfield should have been a penalty

The NFL admitted that a flag thrown for hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was incorrectly picked up.Photo Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

NFL head of officiating Al Riveron: “We had a flag on this play and we incorrectly picked it up."

The NFL admitted on Friday that the official who threw a flag on a hit to the head of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made the right call, and that he should not have been overruled by the other officials.

In his weekly video, NFL head of officiating Al Riveron showed the hit on Mayfield by Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead in last Sunday’s game won by the Bucs in overtime, 26-23.

Riveron said the hit actually should have been flagged for two reasons.

“We had a flag on this play and we incorrectly picked it up after we had a conference by the officials,” Riveron said. “He lowers his head to initiate contact, and he does make contact, so that right there is a foul in itself.

“No. 2, as we can see, the quarterback starts to slide, and even though he slides late, he is still afforded protection from forcible contact to the neck and head area. And there is your contact, so that is a foul for two reasons. No. 1, lowering your head to initiate contact. And No. 2, forcible contact to a quarterback who has given himself up in the head or neck area.”

Riverson did not reveal what was said in the conference among the officials that resulted in a hit that should have been two penalties being ruled no penalty at all.

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