NFL officials will reportedly be on the lookout for the use of illegal foreign objects (yes, this is football and not wrestling) by the Philadelphia Eagles during this weekend’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the New York Giants.
From Football Zebras:
Game officials will have a heightened sense of awareness regarding field goal holders attempting to use a small object upon which to place the ball when holding for a field goal, after such a practice was observed in a Week 14 game.
In the NFC East clash between the Eagles and Giants, Philadelphia emergency holder Britain Covey, who pressed into service when punter Arryn Siposs was injured earlier in the game, was seen picking up a small white object from the field after a field goal attempt by kicker Jake Elliott. When the tape is rolled back, the object was seen directly under the ball when the snap was received, and was subsequently kicked forward naturally during the field goal attempt.
This was not detected by the crew on the field. However, by rule, this is unsportsmanlike conduct. According to Rule 11-4-5, “No article of any type may be placed on the field, or used in any manner, to assist a player in the execution of a field goal and/or [extra-point] Try attempt.”
Here is a video of what happened, again from Football Zebras.
Asked about the incident, Giants special teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey said “You leave a visual spot down there, it helps.”
McGaughey said he isn’t going to make a point of speaking to the officials about this practice prior to the game.
“I’m going to let them do them and we’re going to do us, I ain’t going to worry about what they do,” McGaughey said. “My primary focus is our guys, our battery, taking care of that. I’m not going to worry about that.”