DeAngelo Williams’ touchdown should not have counted, NFL says

Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams did not step out of bounds on his 30-yard run into the end zone Sunday against the Washington Redskins. But the touchdown he scored on that play still should not have counted, the NFL said a day later.

Confused? Apparently so was line judge Thomas Symonette, who blew his whistle when he mistakenly thought Williams had stepped out of bounds at the 17-yard line.

Redskins linebacker Perry Riley said he pulled up after hearing the whistle, which is clearly audible during the play.


According to referee Carl Cheffers, the officials somehow determined that the whistle hadn’t been blown until after Williams reached the end zone. Um, where was Symonette (or at least his tongue) during this discussion?

Anyhow, the touchdown stood because inadvertent whistles aren’t reviewable by replay. Apparently the best the NFL can do in such situations is issue a mea culpa a day later.

The league said Monday that the correct ruling would have given the Panthers a choice of getting the ball where the whistle was blown -- a first down on the Washington 17 -- or replay the down, which was a first down on the Washington 30.

The Panthers went on to win the game, 21-13.


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