Late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers-Ravens, Pittsburgh appeared to have scored a touchdown on a Le’Veon Bell run to cut the Baltimore lead to 22-20 with a two-point attempt awaiting. On the play, Bell’s helmet was ripped off on a hit by Jimmy Smith then Bell’s head strikes the ground, presumably concussing him. Bell laid on the field for minutes, only to be assisted off the field by multiple people.
From there, the automatic scoring review kicked in, forcing refs to look at whether Bell had broke the plane of the goal line before his helmet ripped off. I can’t fault the refs necessarily. That’s the letter of the law in the NFL. A play ends when a helmet comes off. If anything, this is a rule that requires a correction in the off-season. If a ball carrier loses his helmet going to the ground, his progress should still be accounted for all the way to the ground. The way the rule is written now, Le’Veon Bell was concussed for nothing. You could say it actually creates an incentive for defenders to knock the helmets off other players.
It didn’t affect the outcome as the Steelers scored anyway (and had gotten away with Mike Tomlin committing an uncalled foul on the sideline) but it would be nice that Le’Veon Bell actually get credit for his entire run.