Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall has been in the NFL for nearly a decade, and there isn’t much that catches the three-time Pro Bowl selection off guard. Then there was Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the St. Louis Rams in which replacement officials missed myriad calls, putting players in jeopardy of serious injury.
“I had never been part of anything like that before,” Hall said. “I’ve played a lot of football in my years, and I’ve never been part of a game that was that chippy, just so much extracurricular things going on after the play.”
Hall referenced one sequence in which linebacker London Fletcher was engaged with a Rams player, shed the block and fell. Moments later, another Rams player fell on Fletcher, who got up off the turf and looked for a penalty flag that officials never thrown.
Redskins Coach Mike Shahanan clearly was livid over several calls, admonishing officials near the sideline in the first half, and Rams Coach Jeff Fisher was seen hollering at the referees too.
“I don’t know what they’re arguing about,” Hall said of the dispute between the league and its regular officials. “Whatever, I’ve got a couple mil on it, so let’s try to make it work. I’m sure this locker room can pile up some cash and try to help the cause out.”
In another mishandling of the rules, officials allowed Fisher to throw a challenge flag on a play that was called a fumble by Steven Jackson. By rule, a coach is not allowed to challenge a play ruled a turnover on the field, and Fisher should have been assessed a 15-yard penalty.
“Yesterday it was definitely a situation where there was a lot of stuff going on throughout the course of the game,” Fletcher said. “I’m surprised there wasn’t more penalties thrown just with the way the game was going. We’ve got to kind of deal with the situation, and Coach Shanahan has stressed being poised since the time he’s come here.”
Wide receiver Josh Morgan lost his cool late in the game, and it cost the Redskins 15 yards with less than a minute and a half to play as they were trying to get in position to attempt a tying field goal. After catching a seven-yard pass from Robert Griffin III to the Rams 29-yard line, Morgan threw the ball at cornerback Cortland Finnegan, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
Officials, though, missed Finnegan initially shoving Morgan after the reception, prompting the ball-throwing response from the first-year wide receiver.
“You can’t just sit here and blame it on the refs,” wide receiver Santana Moss said. “At the end of the day, we did a lot, and then we didn’t do a lot. That cost the outcome to be what it was. When it was time for us to finish the game, we just didn’t finish it, whether the refs had something to do with it or whether we had something to do with it.”