Sharper fumbled on game-altering TD versus Fins

October, 29, 2009
10/29/09
5:08
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

I haven't had time to shuffle out to the mailbox yet, but curled up inside should be this week's issue of Sports Illustrated.

If you haven't seen it either, Edgar Thompson of the Palm Beach Post provides a glimpse of a photo that will be of particular interest to Dolfans -- and probably make them a little ill.

In Sports Illustrated's "Leading Off" photo section is a shot of New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper's game-changing interception return on the third play of the second half Sunday.

A Chad Henne pass bounced of Ted Ginn's hands, ricocheted off Tracy Porter and was caught by Sharper, who ran it in for a touchdown that swung momentum and propelled the Saints to a 46-34 victory after trailing by 21 points in the first half.

The photo proves Sharper didn't score a touchdown.

The play was ruled a touchdown on the field and reviewed. The ball came loose near the goal line and went out of bounds in the end zone. If the play wasn't a touchdown, it would have been ruled a touchback, with the Dolphins re-gaining possession at their own 20-yard line.

There wasn't a decisive video replay that could overturn the call.

But the Sports Illustrated photo provides no-doubt evidence the ball was coming out at the 1, and line judge Ron Marinucci is gazing right at the play.

Sharper's touchdown very well could be the difference between 2-4 and the Dolphins riding a three-game win streak at 3-3.

Sparano said he has seen the photo but declined to comment.

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