|Bruce Hermansen admitted his mistake. (US Presswire)|
The end of the Seahawks-Cardinals game was marred for minutes because the replacement officials weren't sure how many timeouts Seattle actually had remaining.
The officials apparently thought the injury timeout Seattle had to take when Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin fell on the ball in the end zone late in the fourth quarter did not represent an actual Seahawks timeout. Referee Bruce Hermansen was wrong, and the Seahawks used a fourth timeout when Marshawn Lynch ran the ball to the 4-yard line in the middle of the field.
"It was my error,” Hermansen told a pool reporter. “We gave them [the Seahawks] the additional timeout because of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect, the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it's stopped or running. We should not have given them the additional timeout."
Luckily for the officials and the NFL, the Seahawks couldn't take advantage of that miscue, and the Cardinals still won the game (Arizona needed three straight secondary stops from the 4-yard line in the final minute, though), and it's commendable that Hermansen explained himself and admitted the error.
But the biggest problem with the replacement refs isn't that they get judgment calls wrong (the real refs obviously do that, as well). No, the problem is that the officials have a hard time keeping track of the actual rules of the game. That seems to be a big problem.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.