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NFL to Review Catch Rule That Cost Lions Touchdown

Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions
Calvin Johnson #81 of the Detroit Lions. Photographer: Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The National Football League will review the rule on catches in the end zone that cost Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions a possible game-winning touchdown during the first week of this season.

Rich McKay, co-chairman of the NFL’s Competition Committee, said that the rule, which mandates that receivers make a second “football move” after catching balls in the end zone, will “definitely be discussed” after the season.

“I think we need to go back and look at that rule,” McKay told reporters said at the league owners meetings in Chicago.

With the Lions trailing the Chicago Bears 19-14 with 31 seconds remaining in the game on Sept. 12 at Chicago, Johnson came down with a pass in the end zone. The 25-year-old receiver landed in bounds, but lost control of the ball when it hit the ground. Referees determined that Johnson had not completed the “process” of the catch, or made a second football move, and ruled the pass incomplete. The call was reviewed and upheld.

The Lions are 1-4 and last in the National Football Conference North standings. They got their first win of the season on Oct. 10 against the St. Louis Rams.

The Bears are 4-1, in first place in the NFC North.

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