Before Justin Tucker made the field goal that ended the the fifth longest game in NFL history yesterday, he jogged onto the field between the two overtimes and had an assistant coach hold the ball for him while he practiced his kicks. Champ Bailey was dismayed, as you can see in the video above, but nobody else on the field seemed to make any protest, and the officials called no penalty.
As they watched the scene play out after the commercial break, Dan Dierdorf said to Greg Gumbel, "I don't know that there's any rule against it. Obviously the officiating crew had no problem with it." There's the rub. Dierdorf's first sentence is apparently accurate, but the officiating crew should have had a problem with it, according to Fox's officiating ombudsman Mike Pereria:
The practice kick is not a penalty but I'm sure they'll tell him not to do it again.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 13, 2013
Just confirmed with the NFL officiating department: There is no penalty for the practice kick in DEN.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 13, 2013
If the officials see the kicker coming out to attempt a practice kick they are told not to do it. No penalty either way.— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 13, 2013
Final note. Officials are told not to allow a practice kick on the field. If it happens they're to tell him to get off the field. No penalty— Mike Pereira (@MikePereira) January 13, 2013
So the rule is, there's no rule, but it's not allowed, according to no part of the rulebook, which, if that part existed, would say that it wasn't allowed, so he should have been warned, though if he had been warned, there wouldn't have been a penalty, and the warning would have come too late, but someone should have shooed him off the field, but they didn't so it doesn't matter, unless it mattered a lot. Got that, Broncos fans? It's not allowed, but like, it happened anyway. No penalty.
h/t Wayne B.
[It's Always Sunny In Detroit]