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The NFL is not expected to change the challenge flag rule that came into play in the Detroit Lions-Houston Texans Thanksgiving Day game this season but is expected to do so this offseason, according to a league official.
|Texans running back Justin Forsett appeared down on this run, but his 81-yard TD couldn't be challenged, helping Houston to an eventual overtime victory.|
Some had suggested the rule could be changed as early as this week, with a potential emergency meeting Monday. The league, however, said that wouldn't be the case.
The current rule punishes head coaches such as Detroit's Jim Schwartz for throwing challenge flags on plays that would be automatically reviewed, as happened on Justin Forsett's touchdown run Thursday.
Replays clearly showed Forsett's knee and elbow touched the turf when he was hit. There was no whistle on the play and Forsett stayed on his feet and ran to the end zone, scoring an 81-yard touchdown. Houston won the game in overtime 34-31.
Schwartz inadvertently wiped out any chance of the play being reviewed by throwing his challenge flag. Scoring plays are automatically reviewed, but if a coach throws a challenge flag, as Schwartz did, the review is negated and a 15-yard usportsmanlike conduct penalty is assessed.
"I overreacted," Schwartz acknowledged, "and I cost us."
A league official said he cannot remember the last time the NFL changed a rule in-season, and that is not expected to change now.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.