Week 3 of the NFL produced more suspect calls during several games, and it also produced a meeting between the league and the locked out officials’ union.
Two people familiar with the talks said the sides met Sunday. It was uncertain whether progress was made in an attempt to reach a new collective bargaining agreement, or when further negotiations would take place.
The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the talks are not being made public.
The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. The league has been using replacement officials, and through three weeks of the regular season there has been much criticism over the way some games are being handled.
On Sunday, replacement officials admitted making two mistakes in Minnesota’s victory over San Francisco, while a few other games included questionable calls that could have affected the outcomes.
Referee Ken Roan said he twice granted 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh video challenges after Harbaugh called timeout in the fourth quarter. Neither challenge should have been allowed once Harbaugh asked for time.
“What I told him was, `Well you challenged it not knowing what the result of the play was going to be,’” Roan said. “So I granted him the challenge and we went and looked at it. That was wrong. I should not have.”
Both mistakes happened in the span of six plays in Minnesota’s 24-13 upset of the 49ers.
“My interpretation of it was that he could do that based upon the time factors and not knowing it was a challengeable play to begin with when he called timeout,” Roan said. “If you don’t have a timeout to lose, you can’t make a challenge.”
Earlier Sunday, the NFL players’ union sent an open letter to team owners calling for an end to the lockout.
In the Lions-Titans and Bengals-Redskins games, officials marched off too much yardage on penalties.
Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch’s helmet-to-helmet hit on Craig Stevens wound up as a 27-yard penalty in Tennessee’s 44-41 overtime win. In OT, from the Titans 44, Jake Locker passed to Stevens over the middle for a 24-yard gain and Tulloch was flagged for the hit. Fourteen yards were added to the end of the play, which then was reviewed and overturned because the ball hit the ground.
However, the penalty still is enforced. Instead of 15 yards, officials marked it off from the Detroit 44 _ the wrong spot.
“As soon as the play was declared incomplete it becomes a first down and it becomes 15 yards from the play before,” Lions coach Jim Schwartz said.
The Redskins were penalized 20 yards instead of 15 for unsportsmanlike conduct in the final seconds of their 38-31 loss.