Greg Aiello, NFL Senior Vice President of Communications, said today that there were no violations of NFL policy regarding media positioning on the sideline during the play Thursday night on which New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle was injured. Aiello, however, did say the league might need to "reexamine" allowing photographers to sit.
Rolle slammed into a camera person, suffered a lacerated knee and was forced to leave the game against the Carolina Panthers.
If you did not see the play Rolle was injured late in the game when a Cam Newton pass to the left corner of the end zone fell incomplete. Carolina tight end Greg Olsen and Rolle were both carried out of bounds by their momentum. Olsen bumped into a photographer while Rolle, trying to avoid an NFL Network videographer, leaped and slammed his knee into the camera.
Aiello explained, via e-mail:
"It was a rare occurrence and the photographer was not somewhere he wasn't supposed to be. There is a yellow restraining line for photographers that is 12 feet from the sideline (six feet behind the six-foot white border around the field). Photographers have to be behind the 12-foot yellow restraining line, except for the televising network and NFL Films cameras, which can be in a three-foot zone in front of the other photographers. This photographer was an NFL Films cameraman who was in that 3-foot zone."
Aiello also said that the sitting position is common practice.
"Films cameramen have taken a sitting position for some shots for years. We might have to reexamine that."