Replacement refs make wrong call

Updated: August 9, 2012, 9:46 PM ET
Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Replacement officials were booed late in the first quarter of the Buffalo Bills' preseason opener against Washington on Thursday after muffing a call on a touchback.

Bills punter Brian Moorman hit a 49-yard punt, which Buffalo's Ruvell Martin downed at the Redskins' 4-yard line. Back judge Craig Burd, however, ruled it a touchback.

The only Bills player who entered the end zone was Brad Smith, who never touched the ball.

Fans began booing when the ball was placed at the 20, and they got louder when a replay was shown on the scoreboard.

Coach Chan Gailey challenged the play, which was reversed shortly after referee David Scott reviewed it.

The NFL is using replacement officials after locking out its regular officials, whose contract expired.

There was another miscue at the end of the first half, when the Redskins' offense was penalized for delay of game with 5 seconds left and Washington out of timeouts. Scott marched off the 5-yard penalty to prepare for the next play, when Gailey had a brief conversation with line judge Rondell Taylor at the sideline.

Taylor quickly ran over to the referee, and Scott announced the half was over because, under NFL rules, 10 seconds had to be run off the clock because the penalty occurred in the final two minutes of a half.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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