Redskins players say call on Ravens’ fumble recovery could have gone either way

 

The Redskins survived a fumbled fourth-quarter kickoff by Niles Paul (above) in overtime win over Ravens (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Redskins caught a major break before their game-tying drive in the fourth quarter Sunday when a would-be fumble recovery by the Baltimore Ravens on a kickoff was overturned by an instant replay review.

With the Redskins trailing 28-20, Niles Paul lost the ball on the kickoff return and the Ravens’ David Reed appeared to make the recovery along the sideline before going out of bounds. The officials ruled on the field that Reed made a legal recovery by having possession of the ball before he slid out of bounds.

But all turnovers are automatically reviewed via replay, and the call was reversed. Reed was ruled out of bounds before he had control of the ball, and the Redskins retained possession. They tied the game in the final minute on backup quarterback Kirk Cousins’s touchdown pass and two-point conversion run, and won in overtime.

“I didn’t know what the call was going to be,” Paul said. “I was hoping that it was out of bounds.” But Paul said he wasn’t at all certain of that, even after he saw the replay on the stadium’s video boards.

“I felt like it could have went either way,” Paul said. “Luckily it went ours.”

The replay seemed to show Reed in control of the ball temporarily while in bounds, but bobbling the ball slightly after sliding out of bounds.

“That was a critical play,” Redskins linebacker and special teams captain Lorenzo Alexander said. “In real time, I thought he had gotten it because I was right there jumping on him. But I couldn’t see the bobble because I was on his back. I knew he had it before his elbows went out. But I couldn’t tell if he had possession. But once you saw it, he kind of bobbled it in there. That call could have went either way. Thank God it went in our favor.”

Also on The Insider

Kai Forbath had a feeling game would come down to last-second field goal