WATCH: Cardinals RB Bauman scores a bizarre touchdown
On Saturday night the Arizona Cardinals played the Minnesota Vikings in the second week of preseason games. The game will go down in NFL history as having one of the most bizarre touchdowns ever scored.
The chain of events started with quarterback Ryan Lindley botching a snap from center John Eastes, cu massive pile up to recover the ‘fumble’. Now here is where it gets interesting.
Instead of smothering the ball, as you would expect in a normal fumble pile up, Eastes instead decides to push it between his legs so that it clears the pile up and the ball is scooped up by Cardinals rookie running back Zach Bauman who ran it into the endzone.
The referees called it a touchdown and upheld the decision after review.
“Hold on,” you’re thinking “that can’t possibly be legal! You aren’t allowed to advance a fumble in the fourth quarter if you aren’t the fumbler!”
Well, that’s exactly why this play is so weird. It isn’t a normal fumble. Lindley never had possession of the ball to begin with. This means that when Eastes pushed the ball out between his legs, he was pushing out a live ball.
Here is what referee Craig Wrolstad said
“The snap is considered a backwards pass,” referee Craig Wrolstad told a pool reporter from USA TODAY Sports. “Any backwards pass can be advanced by any team, any direction, on any down. So, it wasn’t a fumble, because the snap was never possessed by any of the players.”
In short, this means if Lindley had received the snap and had then fumbled it, with the same series of events infolding, the touchdown wouldn’t have stood.
“Now that would be a fourth-down fumble, and no fourth-down fumble can be advanced except by the fumbling player or the defense,” Wrolstad said.
So there you have it.
Since Ryan Lindley never actually fielded the ball and Eastes pushed the ball backwards and not forwards, the play was legal and therefore the touchdown stood.