Under current NFL rules, personal foul penalties cannot be reviewed in instant replay. In 2018, that could change.
Next week the NFL owners will consider two proposals that would change the league’s replay rules to allow the referee and head of officiating to review personal fouls.
One proposal, made by the Chargers, would allow roughing the passer and hits on players in a defenseless posture to be reviewed. A broader proposal made by Washington would allow all personal fouls to be reviewed.
NFL owners have been hesitant to allow replay reviews for personal fouls, saying that those penalties are often judgment calls. And yet the league office routinely uses video footage to determine whether to fine or suspend players for personal fouls. If the video can be used later in the week to determine league discipline, why can’t it be used on Sunday to determine whether the call on the field was correct?
The answer may be that the league doesn’t want to do anything that would add to the already too-frequent replay delays in NFL games. Reviewing everything would make for longer games at a time when the league wants games to move faster.