Browns notes: NFL admits they blew call on Baker Mayfield helmet hit twice

Hue Jackson also angered by Bucs coach Dirk Koetter’s comments on the hit

Daryl Ruiter
October 26, 2018 - 3:04 pm

© Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

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Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – In what is becoming a common theme this season, the NFL admitted it erred while officiating a Browns game.

This week’s admission comes from senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron Friday afternoon during the weekly video review concerning the helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter at the end of a 35-yard run.

“We had a flag on this play and we incorrectly picked it up after we had a conference by the officials,” Riveron said. “That is a foul for two reasons: No. 1, lowering your head to initiate contact and No. 2, forceable contact to a quarterback who has given himself up in the head or neck area.”

Browns head coach Hue Jackson did not appreciate Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter complaining that Mayfield should’ve been called for a taunting penalty after he was hit in the head by safety Jordan Whitehead earlier this week.

“That disappointed me. I did see that,” Jackson said Friday of Koetter’s comments.

The comments from Koetter came Wednesday.

“What they said on the field was it’s a helmet-to-helmet hit and then [Mayfield] got up and taunted our guy, so then they threw the second flag,” Koetter told reporters in Tampa. “Somehow, they worked it out that they were picking up both flags. Where I was on the field, I didn’t see it as a helmet-to-helmet [hit]. But when you look at it on tape, it clearly was, and I guess the fallout from that is what it is.”

Jackson remains upset that the officials, who threw 2 flags on the play, picked them up.

“The guy shouldn’t have hit our player in the head, first of all, and, obviously, our guy got up and he tossed the ball to the official,” Jackson said. “Obviously, the guy was close by, but the bottom line is our guy shouldn’t be getting hit in the head. I don’t care about some taunting foul. We’re talking about our quarterback taking a shot in the head and sliding. I think that’s wrong. Totally wrong.”

Jackson was miffed that a no call for taunting was what Koetter took from that play.

“Just that we’re talking about a second flag. I mean, the biggest thing that happened was the quarterback got hit in the head,” Jackson said. “Taunting? Does that really matter? I mean, really? That, to me, made no sense.”

Tretter, Randall good to go – Although safety Damarious Randall and center JC Tretter are both officially listed as questionable Sunday, both are expected to play.

Randall has played through a deep heel bruise suffered in Week 2 at New Orleans and now he’s dealing with groin and ankle injuries. With the shortage at cornerback, Randall is expected to slide from free safety to corner and Brien Boddy-Calhoun would take over for him.

Tretter maintained the same regimen as last week where he wears the walking boot throughout the week, sits out practice until Friday and plays Sunday.

Rookie of the week – Baker Mayfield was voted the Pepsi Rookie of the Week for a second time Friday.

Mayfield, who completed 23 of 34 passes for 215 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 26-23 overtime loss at Tampa Bay, won the honor is Week 3.

It marked the fifth time in 7 weeks a Brown was voted as the winner of the award – cornerback Denzel Ward Weeks 1 and 5 and running back Nick Chubb in Week 4.

Injury report – Out: CB E.J. Gaines (concussion), WR Rashard Higgins (knee), LB Joe Schobert (hamstring),

Questionable: S Damarious Randall (groin/ankle), C JC Tretter (ankle)

Expected to play: DL Chris Smith (personal/not injury related), TE David Njoku (knee), LB Genard Avery (elbow), TE Darren Fells (knee), LT Desmond Harrison (ankle), DE Emmanuel Ogbah (elbow), S Jabrill Peppers (ankle)