Defender out of bounds during punt return

Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 10:16 am
In a Patriot's game Julian Edelman ran a punt return for a touch down. During the run back a defender was running down the sidelines out of bounds unrestricted for at least 20 yards and nearly came back in and tackled Edelman just before the goal line If he had tackled Edelman would there be a penalty? If so what? If someone on the Patriots tried and blocked the defender while the defender was running down the sidelines out of bounds would that be a penalty. If so what?
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Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 11:39 am
I'm waiting for that answer, too.

What I think is that as soon as the defender runs out of bounds, it disqualifies anything he does as a legitimate action on the play. However, I don't have the defintive ruling. And of course the defnder has to be ruled as out of bounds and caught in the act.

If you go to NFL.com, perhaps the answer can be provided there.

What is not clear to me is what is action the ensues that determines that defender was out of bounds? If a TD results, than mandatorily officials have to review the action of the defender being declared out of bounds first and not just whether the TD occured at all and not jsut whether or not that Edelman did not go out of bounds.
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Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 12:00 pm
Rule 9 article 5: If a defensive team member goes out of bounds and contact a kicking team player it is a foul for unnecessary roughness.

Rule 9 Article 6: A 5 yard penalty for a kicking team player to go out of bounds during a punt until change of possession.

Rules are paraphrased.
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 01:28 pm
however, there has to have a flag thrown on the field when the Defensive player has been ruled that he went out of bounds.

If there was a flag thrown, the Pats could either negate the penalty on the other team or accept a yardage penalty granting them better field positon on the next play.
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2012 07:06 pm
Under Rule 9 article 5, I think you can assume things like fouled team getting a choice in penalty (taking, negating and taking play) as it states it is an unnecessary roughness penalty.

In the second case I don’t know you can read it that way as it does not state a named penalty (so you can’t fall back on the rules for that specific penalty as in the previous rule.) It just says 5 yard penalty. So just like on a kickoff out of bounds as well as some others the fouled team may not get a choice in the penalty.
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