One of the NFL's most controversial rules was back in the limelight on Thursday Night Football.
Facing a 10-7 deficit late in the first half, the Minnesota Vikings were driving with a chance to take the lead against the Philadelphia Eagles. Kirk Cousins lofted a pass to his top wide receiver, Justin Jefferson, who hauled it in inside the Eagles' 5-yard line.
Jefferson tried to score, and the ball crossed the goal line. Only one problem -- he wasn't holding onto it when it did.
Terrell Edmunds pried the ball from Jefferson's hands before he got into the endzone. The play was initially ruled out of bounds at the 1-yard line, but the officials instead ruled it a fumble through the endzone and touchback, giving the Eagles possession at their own 20.
— NFL (@NFL) September 15, 2023
Section 7, Article 3, Item 4 of the NFL rulebook details how the league handles fumbles into the endzone. Still, many people are fed up with the rule, with some calling it the "worst rule" in the game.
Worst rule in football. Wake up NFL.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 15, 2023
Oof, that's a touchback. (This rule continues to suck.)
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 15, 2023
This will always be the dumbest rule in football.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) September 15, 2023
It's a touchback.
The Vikings came inches from a touchdown, only to lose the ball on one of the dumbest rules in football.
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) September 15, 2023
There is no dumber rule in football than the goal line fumble touchback nonsense.
You lose possession despite the defense not recovering. AND they get the ball. AND they get 20% of the field marked off. Has never made sense. Insane it’s still a thing.
— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) September 15, 2023
Not everyone hates the rule, though. Many spoke up after the play preaching for players to hold onto the ball, especially near the endzone.
Touchback rule is just fine hold onto the football and quit your crying
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 15, 2023
don’t fumble the ball.
all fumbles out of bounds should go to the other team, and end zone fumbles should be a touchback. https://t.co/cglSCjNiJ0
— Austin Gayle (@austingayle_) September 15, 2023
The fumble touchback rule is actually perfect. Most of y’all are just not smart.
— Longfellow Grinch (@Grinch21188235) September 15, 2023
Fumbles were an issue for the Vikings all over the field Thursday night. The team had four turnovers -- all fumbles -- and wound up losing by six points to fall to 0-2 on the year.