The NFL is maintaining its stance that the Detroit Lions bear responsibility for the reporting mishap that led to a denied two-point conversion in their recent 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. In a memo circulated to teams, the league emphasized the proper procedures for reporting as an eligible lineman, accompanied by a video featuring clips of swing tackle Dan Skipper signaling his eligibility to referee Brad Allen.
The video displays Skipper raising his left and right arms in separate instances as he approached Allen during plays where he was designated as an eligible receiver. The footage, circling Skipper in yellow, illustrates the importance of clear communication with the referee regarding a change in eligibility status.
NFL senior vice president of officiating training Walt Anderson, featured in the video, emphasized the player’s responsibility to ensure the change in status is communicated both physically, with hand signals in front of the chest, and verbally to the referee. The purpose is to allow the defense a fair chance to adjust personnel and avoid confusion.
During the 2-point play, Allen acknowledged Skipper as an eligible receiver, confirming the tackle-eligible pass intended for Taylor Decker. Despite Decker successfully catching the pass, the play was nullified due to an illegal touching penalty, and the Lions faced subsequent failed attempts at the controversial conversion.
In a post-game interview, Skipper maintained that he did not communicate with the official during the 2-point play, while Decker mentioned following the coach’s instructions by reporting to the ref, expressing uncertainty about the outcome. The league’s memo and video seek to underscore the importance of players adhering to proper reporting procedures to prevent such controversies.