The Washington Times - November 4, 2012, 08:51PM

Mike Shanahan didn’t hear the whistle from the sideline. The Washington Redskins coach knew nothing of the possibility.

Carolina Panthers running back De Angelo Williams claimed he didn’t hear it, either, as he was running 30 yards to the end zone. But there was a whistle that should have negated Williams’ first-quarter touchdown, as head referee Carl Cheffers explained following the Redskins’ 21-13 loss Sunday.


“The line judge blew his whistle. We had a lot of discussion about it. We just felt when the whistle blew, that the player would have already scored a touchdown,” Cheffers told a pool reporter. “By rule, we would have to put him down when the whistle blew, and we tried to decide where that spot would be, and we felt that spot would be in the end zone.”

Problem is, the Redskins didn’t see it that way. The whistle was clearly audible to linebacker Perry Riley, who was running toward Williams at about the 12-yard line.

“I could’ve pushed him out of bounds if I hadn’t heard the whistle,” Riley said.

Cheffers argued that “by the time the whistle blew, he had already crossed the goal line.” He explained that the inadvertent whistle gave the offense the choice to take the result of the play or replay the down. On defense, he said, the Redskins had no such choice.

Officials deliberated after Williams made it into the end zone; all scoring plays are subject to video review. But Shanahan thought there might have been a hold on the the Panthers that would have called the play back.

There was no holding, and the inadvertent whistle by Thomas Symonette did not lead to the touchdown coming off the board. Instead, the Panthers led the Redskins 7-3, on the way to snapping a five-game skid.

It was a turning point of the game, but Williams, who was fired up by this being the Redskins’ Homecoming weekend, didn’t make any apologies.

“Play through the whistle, man. I cant make that call,” he said. “I didn’t hear a whistle. They didn’t seem like they heard a whistle, either. I don’t think anybody stopped playing. It was seven points on the board, and we win.”