GREEN BAY – If Terrell Manning knew he got away with one in Sunday’s 30-22 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, the Green Bay Packers rookie linebacker wasn’t admitting to it.
When Randall Cobb pulled the Packers to within 23-15 on a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown, the replacement officials crew threw a penalty flag, which appeared to be in the direction of linebacker Brad Jones. After conferring, referee David White announced that there had been no penalty for an illegal block on the play, and Cobb’s touchdown stood.
What wasn’t clear was whether the official who threw the flag intended it for Jones, who did appear to avoid the illegal block in the back when the return was shown on replay, or Manning. The guess here is that the flag was thrown at Jones and correctly picked up; what appeared to be a clear penalty on Manning for putting an illegal block on San Francisco’s Anthony Dixon was flat-out missed by a crew that had its struggles all game long.
“I knew it was possibility they could’ve got me. But I thought it would be a clean block, and that’s why I threw it in the beginning. And obviously they thought the same thing,” Manning said.
Asked what he saw when he watched the replay on Lambeau Field’s new video boards, Manning replied, “To be honest with you, I never even got a chance to look at it. Immediately after I made the block, I started celebrating, and then when I saw the flag, I realized that it possibly could’ve went either way. But I came to the sideline, once they picked up the flag, I was just congratulating my teammate.
“Whether it was a clean block or not, the refs picked it up and said that it was. It ain’t my decision.”
That was Manning’s story, and he was sticking to it, video evidence or not. And he wasn’t alone.
“I saw the flag thrown and, obviously, the play continued so I was just trying to make it to the end zone,” Cobb said. “Luckily, they overturned it.”
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