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SportEagles' Malcolm Jenkins: Replay official 'should stay off the bottle' on fumbled kickoff

13:55  10 december  2018
13:55  10 december  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins: Replay official 'should stay off the bottle' on fumbled kickoff© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson talks with referee Clete Blakeman (34) after a video review during the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Malcolm Jenkins had a pointed response toward the replay officials when Dallas was able to keep the ball on the opening kickoff despite a fumble recovered by Eagles linebacker Kamu Grugier-Hill at around the Cowboys' 20 yard line.

"Whoever is watching that in New York should stay off the bottle," Jenkins said, referring to the those reviewing the call.

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At first, the officials ruled that Cowboys returner Jourdan Lewis was down by contact. But the Eagles challenged that call, and it was thus reviewed. It appeared as if the ball was under LaRoy Reynolds with several Eagles pinning the ball underneath him.

But the officials determined that there wasn't a clear recovery, so the Cowboys kept the ball. That lost challenge also cost the Eagles a timeout.

The Eagles ended up losing 29-23 in overtime Sunday.

Jenkins, who was one of the Eagles in on the play, was dumbfounded by the explanation.

"That was a pretty terrible call, to be honest," he said. "They reviewed it, and the explanation I got was that it wasn’t a clear recovery, although Kamu had the ball in his hand, and it was only Eagles defenders on the ball on the replay."

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Then he added: "It was a clear fumble. That wasn’t even the close part. They said they didn’t see a clear recovery. Again, common sense, you saw Kamu come up with the ball. Obviously, they don’t pay me to make calls like that. But in hindsight, it was a big play in the game."

Video by NFL

Head referee Clete Blakeman was asked about the play by a pool reporter after the game.

"We've got to have clear evidence that there was a fumble, which we did," Blakeman said. "The second component of it was there a clear recovery? And that's just what we couldn't confirm with the angles we had on video to make it a clear recovery by Philadelphia, so we had to stay with the ruling on the field."

Blakeman was then asked about the pileup.

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"That was discussed," he said. "So situationally, we have a pileup. I mean, it's really hard unless we have somebody with clear possession and control of it before the pileup begins, and then we can give it to them. We just didn't have that on this one."

Grugier-Hill also said it was clear that the Eagles recovered the ball. If it wasn't him, there were a few other players around the ball.

In fact, the Eagles offense and Cowboys defense were on the field even before the ruling was announced.

"They just said the video didn’t show me getting up with the ball, so, that’s on them," Grugier-Hill said. "It was all green jerseys. But they said nothing you can do. It’s on them. Whatever."

Had the Eagles taken possession there, they most likely would have scored at least a field goal to take an early lead. As it was, the Eagles didn't score until the third quarter, after they fell behind 9-0.

"But when you make a play as big as that, and it’s taken away from you, for nothing, from our vantage point – that’s a little bit tough. But we got over it immediately, kept playing, kept fighting.

"In a game where it’s going to be tight, it’s going to go tit-for-tat, you need every single play. You look back, and it’s unfortunate that call was made."

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Contact Martin Frank at mfrank@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Eagles' Malcolm Jenkins: Replay official 'should stay off the bottle' on fumbled kickoff

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