NFL explains why Vernon Davis, Odell Beckham got penalized for celebrating

Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, has made one of the best uses of Twitter this year. Every Sunday, Blandino tweets out a video that touches on some of the most controversial calls of the week, and since this is the NFL we're talking about, you know there are going to be several bad calls every week.

In Week 6, there were two calls that Blandino focused on for his Sunday video, and both calls had to do with penalty flags that were thrown after a player scored a touchdown.

In Washington, Redskins tight end Vernon Davis was hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he caught a touchdown pass during the second quarter of the Redskins' 27-20 win over the Eagles.

The flag was thrown because Davis decided to use the football as a basketball and shoot it over the goalpost.

Most fans watching the game at home thought the refs made a horrible call.

According to Blandino, the refs got the call right.

"The ruling on the field here is a touchdown, and you'll watch No. 85, he's going to shoot the football over the goalpost, mimicking a basketball action," Blandino said. "That's using the ball and the goalpost as a prop. That's a violation of the rule."

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Vernon Davis got penalized for this celebration. Fox/NFL

Basically, the way Blandino explained things, a player is going to be penalized if he tries to incorporate the sport of basketball at all.

"You can't dunk the ball over the goalpost, shoot the ball, finger roll, all of that is illegal, using the football and the goalpost as a prop," Blandino said. "Fifteen-yard penalty, it's enforced on the kickoff, so Washington kicked off from their own 20-yard line."

That penalty hurt a lot, because the Eagles would return the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown.

Anyway, the other penalty Blandino discussed came in the Ravens-Giants game on a flag that was thrown on Odell Beckham Jr.

After catching a 66-yard touchdown pass with just 1:24 left in the game, Beckham was penalized for taking his helmet off during his celebration. Fans didn't like the call.

Blandino's explanation for the penalty?

"The receiver's going to go into the end zone, and as part of the celebration, he's going to take his helmet off in the end zone," Blandino said. "That's a violation of the rule. You cannot take your helmet off as part of a celebration, a demonstration, or as part of a confrontation with an opponent or a game official. You'll see he goes to the sideline, says something to the game officials, that would be unsportsmanlike conduct as well -- we'll only enforce one foul. Fifteen-yard penalty, again, enforced on the kickoff."

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You're not allowed to take your helmet off, Odell. CBS/NFL

Blandino added that a player can take his helmet off if he "goes to the bench area as he leaves the field, that would not be a foul."

That could be why people thought the flag was confusing, because technically, Beckham is headed to the bench area as he leaves the field. That being said, Blandino added that Beckham actually broke two rules on the play, so he was going to be hit with a penalty no matter what.

You can see both of Blandino's explanations below.

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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