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NFL confirms that Osweiler’s forward fumble could not have been reversed

Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler and his reunion with the Denver Broncos this past Monday night certainly didn’t go as planned for the young gunslinger. Aside from managing just 131 yards on 41 passing attempts in the 27-9 loss, the quarterback produced a very unusual, and embarrassing moment.

Midway through the contest, Osweiler attempted to throw a pass and lost grip of the ball somewhere between fully cocking his arm back to throw and the beginning of the throwing motion. Somehow the play ended up as a fumble, despite the ball leaving his hand with a spiral.

As you can imagine, the play certainly raised some questions and it was a talking point of NFL senior V.P. of officiating Dean Blandino during his weekly media video this week. He admitted that it was an “extremely close” call, enough so that the available visual evidence would have made it impossible to reverse the call on the field, regardless of what the ruling was.

Blandino’s explanation implies that the player who “is in control of the ball and is attempting to pass it forward” must maintain that possession the entire time, even if the forward motion is beginning. That being said though, the rule states – “any intentional forward movement of his hand starts a forward pass” – so there is obviously a fine line.

“When the hand starts to come forward, the ball is coming up off the fingertips,” Blandino said.

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