- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Replacement referee Bruce Hermansen initially announced having charged Seattle for its third and final timeout of the second half. However, officials later allowed Seattle to call timeout. They said the Seahawks had not been charged with a timeout following Baldwin's injury because the pass had been incomplete, stopping the clock.
The rules make for no such allowances. The rules governing timeouts following the two-minute warning of either half read:
"If a team has not used its three charged team timeouts, the team of the injured player will be charged a team timeout, unless: (i) the injury is the result of a foul by an opponent; (ii) the injury occurs during a down in which there is a change of possession, a successful field goal, or an attempted Try; or (iii) the opponent calls a timeout.
Seattle was wrongly allowed to call timeout with 30 seconds remaining, after Marshawn Lynch ran up the middle for a 2-yard gain from the Arizona 6-yard line. The Cardinals wound up stopping Seattle to preserve a 20-16 victory.
Afterward, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he thought the officials handled the situation properly. He cited the same reasoning given to him by the officials.
I'm following up for a fuller explanation, but the rules are clear. Seattle should not have received another timeout. Had the Seahawks won, the debate over replacement officials would have intensified.
Update: The Cardinals released a statement from Hermansen, who met with a pool reporter under NFL guidelines.
"It was my error. We gave them (Seattle) the additional timeout because of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it's stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional timeout."