During the Vikings-Eagles game, Vikings' wide receiver Justin Jefferson, nearly scored a receiving touchdown before halftime. However, upon further review, it was determined that he had fumbled the ball over the pylon. The officials initially ruled it out of bounds at the 1-yard line, but after reviewing the footage, they reversed the ruling to a touchback.
The NFL rulebook states, "If a ball is fumbled in the field of play and goes forward into the opponent’s end zone and over the end line or sideline, a touchback is awarded to the defensive team.”
"The penalty is harsh, but that's just part of football," stated Kirk Cousins, the quarterback for the Vikings. He continued, "The end zones are precious, and that orange pylon in the corner is especially precious, which explains why Justin was reaching for it."
Cousins said it was a tough break for the Vikings, who went on to lose the Week 2 matchup with the Eagles 34-28.
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The play ruled a touchback:
This is the play that ignited the debate on the touchback rule.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 15, 2023
After review, Justin Jefferson's 30-yard gain resulted in a touchback instead of 1st-and-goal.
Al Michaels and Terry McAulay discussed the ruling on the Amazon Prime Video broadcast. 📺🏈 #TNF pic.twitter.com/H1nTw3Q6bO
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 15, 2023
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fumble touchback rule in NFL 'part of football' QB Kirk Cousins says