NEW YORK – A top NFL executive says the rule that negated using video replay to confirm a Houston touchdown Thursday may be too harsh and will be re-examined immediately.
Ray Anderson, the league’s director of football operations, says a 15-yard penalty for throwing the challenge flag on a play that is automatically reviewed might be enough.
For now, throwing the challenge flag also eliminates the use of replay; all scoring plays otherwise are reviewed.
Justin Forsett’s third-quarter 81-yard run in the Texans’ 34-31 overtime victory at Detroit initially was ruled a touchdown, although replays clearly showed his knee and elbow touched the turf when he was hit by Lions defenders. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz challenged, resulting in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
The status of Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler going into the weekend remains uncertain because of a concussion, although coach Lovie Smith said he is optimistic about Cutler’s return.
Cutler, who missed Monday night’s 32-7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, is listed as questionable against Minnesota. Whether he plays in Sunday’s game at Soldier Field hinges on passing a test from an independent neurologist today.
Around the league
Coach Rex Ryan insists that Tim Tebow 100 percent could have played in the New York Jets’ 49-19 loss to New England on Thursday, despite the backup quarterback having two broken ribs.
San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh expects quarterback Alex Smith to be medically cleared at to play by today. For the first time in seven weeks, safety Troy Polamalu was on the practice field with Pittsburgh, though he is doubtful to play Sunday at Cleveland.
Minnesota will likely be without wide receiver Percy Harvin against Chicago because of his sprained left ankle.