Referee explains Calvin Johnson no-catch ruling

Posted Sept. 12, 2010 @ 6:04 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

With 25 seconds remaining in Sunday's Bears-Lions game, Lions WR Calvin Johnson appeared to catch a touchdown that would have given Detroit the lead. Johnson had possession of the ball and had both feet in the endzone, but hit the ground, placed the ball on the turf and let go of it after the apparent catch. The play was ruled incomplete and, after a long review, was upheld as an incomplete catch. The Bears held on for a 19-14 victory.

Following the game, referee Gene Steratore explained the call of incomplete.

"The ruling is that in order for the catch to be completed he has got to maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process of the catch," Steratore explained. "He's catching the football, as he goes to the ground, he must maintain possession of the ball throughout the entire process. So, as he continues to fall, if he fell with two feet and his elbow hit the ground and came out it would be incomplete.

"The process was not finished until he finished that roll and the entire process of that catch."


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