Hyde says muffed punt not correctly called

Tom Silverstein
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
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Green Bay Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis (11) fumbles the punt return in the first half during the Green Bay Packers 47-25 loss to the Tennessee Titans during the NFL football game at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday, November 13, 2016.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nickel back Micah Hyde said that the muffed punt Trevor Davis lost in the second quarter should never have been ruled Tennessee’s ball.

NFL rules state that you can’t make contact with a returner who has signaled for a fair catch until the ball hits the ground.

“When you muff a ball, you can bobble it eight times,” Hyde said. “But they have to give you the right to catch the ball and as Trev was going down to catch the ball, he got hit.

“I tried to tell the back judge and he’s like, ‘I’m the one who came up with the rule.’ OK, what does that mean? Call the rule if it’s yours. I don’t know.”

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Linebacker Beau Brinkley was covering the punt and was right in front of Davis as the Packers rookie ran up and attempted to fair catch the ball. Davis caught the ball at around his knees and so it didn't have very far to fall, but Hyde said it was obvious that Brinkley made contact with Davis before the ball hit the ground.

The Titans would have been called for interference with the opportunity to catch, which would have given the Packers the ball. It's unclear how an unsportsmanlike penalty called on Packers linebacker Kyler Fackrell would have affected the play, although Fackrell's play came after the ball was recovered by the Titans.

Tennessee was ahead, 28-10, when Davis muffed the punt. After the recovery, they were at the Packers 12 and two plays later they were in the end zone again. The Packers would have had 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the half to try to cut Tennessee's lead.

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On another fair catch that he signaled for in the fourth quarter, Hyde said he considered the hit he took oo be a dirty play. Cornerback Valentino Blake slammed into Hyde just after he caught the punt. The penalty was offset by a roughing the kicker on linebacker Joe Thomas.

“One hundred percent,” said Hyde, who had a welt on his right shoulder from the hit. “Whether there was intent to do it or not, it still was.”

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