Justin Jefferson fumbles against the Eagles Photo Credit: Amazon Prime A Justin Jefferson fumble resulted in a touchback, triggering fans to blast one of the NFL’s most reviled rules. Photo Credit: Amazon Prime

Late in the second quarter of Thursday’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota was well positioned to take a 14-10 lead after a catch from Justin Jefferson. Instead, the Vikings were on the wrong side of one of the NFL’s most reviled rules.

Jefferson caught a pass from Kirk Cousins and turned toward the end zone. It seemed like he’d either score or, at worst, the Vikings would have a first-and-goal from less than a yard away.

But as Jefferson was reaching for the goal line, the ball began to come out of his hands. It went out of bounds inside the end zone and as such, he was ruled to have fumbled, not only giving the Eagles the ball, but giving Philadelphia a touchdown and with that, possession of the ball at the Minnesota 20.

There is zero question about this. Jefferson fumbled the ball, it went inside the pylon and out of bounds. So, the eventual ruling of fumble was right.

But while the ruling itself was undeniable, the rule is a different story. And while we’d love to call it a controversial rule, that’s not quite right. Controversy implies at least a significant number of people on each side of the issue engaged in debate.

This rule doesn’t seem to have much — if any — support.

It’s certainly a unique rule. Excluding fourth downs, the defense needs to actually recover a fumble to gain possession of the ball.

And while this rule doesn’t come up, there may not be anything or anyone in football guaranteed to trigger such emotional responses.

[Photo Credit: Amazon Prime]

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