Duke Johnson came out of a pile and stood up with a football, before any ruling had been made. The NFL continues to inexplicably deny that the Browns should have gotten the football. Most recently, Dean Blandino called the play a “bad visual” but also would not confirm that it was recovered by Cleveland.
I suppose there is no camera inside the pile. A camera on the ball would have shown Duke Johnson standing up with it before Sarah Thomas arrived at the pile and made a signal. Unless NFL game balls have learned how to bend the laws of nature, that is.
So what did Sarah Thomas think she saw? According to Browns all-pro lineman Joe Thomas, she fell for a fake, as did he while the play was going on.
“Will Compton was acting like he had the ball,” said Thomas. “And then (Redskins cornerback) Josh Norman jumps on top of him to like cradle him so like nobody else could get on top of him. I never saw the football. I just saw a guy that was acting like he had the football, which is exactly what the official saw â somebody acting like they had the football, so she gave the ball to the person that was acting like they had the football.”
You can even see, if you watch the game footage, Compton at the bottom of the pile cradling, well, nothing, when the pile disperses.
Compton, meanwhile, is pushing the second
gunman ball theory:
That leaves us with a few possibilities:
- The ball bounced right back to Duke Johnson, and he stood up with it;
- A second ball magically appeared in Duke Johnson’s hand, with the original ball being in Will Compton’s possession, and said ball disappeared at the moment the pile was uncovered (due to really low PSI).
I, for one, am a big fan of Occam’s Razor when it comes to this situation. The simplest explanation is that Duke Johnson possessed the ball in the pile, before he stood up with it in his possession out of the pile, and that the NFL is full of crap.