Another controversial call for Hochuli

NEW ORLEANS (TICKER) —Referee Ed Hochuli simply can’t avoid controversy.

In the second quarter of the Minnesota Vikings’ 30-27 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Monday night, the referees missed a call which resulted in a fumble.

Minnesota linebacker Chad Greenway grabbed Reggie Bush’s face mask before sliding his other hand around the flashy running back’s body to force a fumble. The Vikings were awarded the ball, even though replays clearly showed the infraction - much to the chagrin of the home crowd.

Penalties cannot be reviewed in the NFL’s replay system.

“It was obvious that it was a face mask, but I still have to squeeze the ball,” Bush said.

Later in the quarter, 2007 NFL Rookie of the Year Adrian Peterson appeared to fumble the ball as he was being tackled, but Hochuli ruled that although the ball was coming loose, Peterson still had it in his possession.

The 2008 NFL season has not been kind to Hochuli, who whistled a play dead which negated a fumble by Denver Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler. Two plays layer, the Broncos scored a touchdown and made a two-point conversion in the final seconds to post a 39-38 victory over the San Diego Chargers.

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Updated Tuesday, Oct 7, 2008