Pass interference now can be reviewed

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton got what he wanted.

NFL owners voted Tuesday night to allow offensive and defensive pass interference penalties, including non-calls, to be subject to challenge and review. For the 2019 season, coaches can challenge any flags or missed penalties until the final two minutes, when such instances are subject to booth review only.

Owners voted 31-1 in favor of expanded replay, with Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals being the lone negative vote, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the result of the vote had not been made public. 

The substantial shift comes on the heels of the Saints’ NFC Championship Game loss to the Los Angeles Rams, in which Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman was not called for a pass interference penalty against New Orleans receiver Tommylee Lewis in the final two minutes of the game.

“I don’t think we’d have any of these (proposals) on the docket had it not been for one play,” Payton said on Tuesday morning before the expansion of replay. “I don’t think we’d be sitting here on a replay discussion.”

Neither of the competition committee’s original two proposals for the meeting in Phoenix would have allowed for missed penalties to be subject to challenge, but the outlook changed after debate among coaches.

“We were able to make sausage in one day,” competition committee chairman and Atlanta Falcons president McKay said. 

McKay added, “I don’t think we should be afraid of the future of replay.

Owners also voted Tuesday to ban blindside blocks and make permanent kickoff changes that were instituted last year.

 

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