Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy nearly cost his team a touchdown by throwing a challenge flag on a play by the goal line that was likely already going to be reviewed. Luckily for Green Bay, wide receiver Jordy Nelson did his best to cover his coach’s tracks.
Nelson picked up the challenge flag and tried hiding it around his waist as he was walking off the field. Nelson apparently knew what McCarthy didn’t, and that is that coaches are penalized for throwing challenge flags on the field for plays that are automatically reviewed.
Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz was burned earlier this season for throwing a challenge flag on a play that was going to be reviewed, and that gave the Houston Texans a touchdown that likely would have been reversed.
The officials gave Green Bay a break and determined that McCarthy threw the challenge flag after they decided to already review the play, so the Packers were only penalized 15 yards on the kickoff. Aaron Rodgers was credited with an eight-yard touchdown pass to James Jones to make it 27-24 Minnesota.
Why would McCarthy have thrown the flag on the play? There was no indication from the referees that it was a scoring play, so maybe he felt he needed to challenge that it was a touchdown. That’s probably why he threw it.
GIF via CJZeroGoogle+