NFL will consider using replay to review whether game clock expired before snap

In the Week Four Lions-Packers game, the third quarter expired a moment before the Packers snapped the ball. The play should have been immediately blown dead, but the officials didn't notice, and the Packers gained 44 yards on the play. The Lions weren't happy about it, but there was no way to fix the officials' mistake.

If a new rule proposal by the Competition Committee passes, such mistakes can be fixed.

The proposed rule change states simply, "The game clock is reviewable to determine if the period expired before any snap." In other words, if the clock reached :00 at the end of any quarter or overtime, but the ball was snapped anyway, replay could fix that mistake.

This would not affect delay of game penalties, as it applies only to the game clock, not the play clock.

It's not an issue that comes up very often, but it could potentially be game-changing, and it seems likely that the league will approve the proposal. Like all rule changes, it will require at least 24 of the 32 NFL teams to vote in favor of it.