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Referee Bill Leavy, who was downgraded after a Week 1 mistake, erred again in applying the NFL rule book Sunday.
Leavy and his crew penalized the Minnesota Vikings 15 yards, rather than charge them a timeout, after coach Leslie Frazier challenged their call on a fumble.
NFL rules prohibit coaches from challenging calls on turnovers, scores and certain other plays. Known as the "Jim Schwartz rule" after the Detroit Lions coach challenged a touchdown last season, the wording was re-written in the offseason.
"The ruling on the field was that there was no possession by the receiving player," Leavy said after the game. "Therefore, it was a muffed kick and could not be advanced by the kicking team."
The penalty for challenging an unreviewable play is the loss of a timeout, assuming the team has one. The Vikings had three.
Leavy acknowledged that it was a missed call on the part of the officials.
"A timeout should have been charged instead of a 15-yard penalty," he said.
Leavy set the Vikings up on first-and-25 at the Cleveland Browns' 41-yard line. The Vikings should have had the ball for a first-and-10 at the Browns' 26, with two timeouts left instead of three.
Leavy's crew was downgraded by the league, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, after a series of mistakes in the Week 1 game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers.