The NFL confirmed Tuesday that a miscommunication breakdown between the replay booth and the on-field officials prevented a review of Darren Sproles' 12-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter of the Bears' 30-13 loss to the Saints on Sunday at the Superdome.
Replays indicated Sproles stepped out of bounds outside of the 1-yard line as he tip-toed along the sideline into the end zone after taking a short pass from Drew Brees.
An NFL spokesman confirmed that the replay official Bill Spyksma called for a review. But because of a communications breakdown, the play was not reviewed. ''We are modifying the communication procedures to ensure it doesn't happen again,'' NFL senior vice-president of communications Greg Aiello said.
Mike Pereira, a former NFL director of officiating and currently an officiating analyst for Fox, told WMVP-AM's "Silvy & Waddle Show" that the booth official and the on-field official might have gotten their signals crossed.
''As it turns out, Im not sure if it was a technology breakdown or just a communications breakdown,'' Pereira said. ''But the replay official upstairs tried to page the referee to say that he needed to review it. The referee looked at his pager and it said confirmed, apparently, instead of review.
''So somewhere in this process of paging, there was a breakdown, and you'd at least like to hope that it was technology as opposed to the human element of choosing not to review that because it was not a touchdown.''