The NFL may consider changes to its instant replay rules after the fumble that 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman recovered while suffering a horrific injury could not be reviewed on Sunday. Officials in the NFC title bout awarded the football to Seattle after ruling that the Seahawks receiver was “down.”
An NFL source told ProFootballTalk that “the Competition Committee will consider in the offseason whether to expand the replay rules to include the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play”:
Currently, the replay rules exempt such plays because every post-fumble pile up would entail a potential replay review. Still, given the ease with which replay review would have rectified the clear recovery by 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, the league should fashion an exception.
The easiest option would be to continue to make a fumble recovery at the bottom of a pile not subject to replay review, but to allow for replay review when there is indisputable visual evidence that a player was on the ground with possession.