PFWA pool report: Hollins’ left heel came down out of bounds

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

A request was made to get a pool report on the apparent touchdown catch by Falcons wide receiver Mack Hollins in the third quarter:

PFWA Pool Reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter Interview with NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Question: We wanted to get a ruling on what you saw on the play in the end zone to wide receiver Mack Hollins, originally ruled a touchdown on the field and then overturned to an incomplete pass.

Anderson: “When he comes down, he comes down with his toes in bounds. But in one continuous motion both feet go to the ground. The left heel came down out of bounds. When it’s one motion and the heel comes down like that out of bounds, then the foot is out of bounds.”

Question: Okay and so, it appears that if the feet are down the heel is out of bounds.

Anderson: “The toes are down but he is making a continuous step. It doesn’t matter if its heel-toe or toe-heel, if it’s all in one step and any part of the foot lands out of bounds it’s out of bounds. Had he been able to drag his toe some distance and then you end up stepping then you get the benefit of the drag, but when it’s all in one step, one motion, then it’s part of the foot. Any part of the foot comes down out of bounds, then it’s out of bounds.”

Question: So, would an alternative have been if he’s up on his feet and he falls forward then it’s dead if the heel never touches the ground?

Anderson: “Yes, if the heel had never touched out of bounds and then he takes another step and lands with either foot out of bounds, then you count the two toes that were in bounds as the two feet and then it would have been a catch.”

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