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NFL finalizes pass interference replay rules

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NFL: NFC Championship Game-Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

After a nearly unanimous 31-1 vote by NFL owners in March, the NFL is now allowing reviews on pass interference calls and non-calls.

Today the NFL competition committee officially finalized the rules and approved the changes to remain in play for the 2019 season only. The upcoming season will serve as an experimental year for the new rules and based on what occurs the rules could become a staple going forward.

According to NFL Football Operations, the final rule states:

“Pass interference reviews after the two-minute warning of each half and during overtime will be initiated by the replay official. The replay official will only stop the game when there is “clear and obvious visual evidence” that a pass interference penalty may or may not have occurred.”

“In an effort to limit excessive stoppages, any stoppage will occur under stricter criteria than other reviewable plays. Calls will only be reversed based on “clear and obvious visual evidence” that an incorrect call was made, which is the same standard for all reviews.

“Even under two minutes, all passing plays can be reviewed for pass interference. Any “Hail Mary play at the end of a half or game will be reviewed in replay consistent with the guidelines for officiating the play on the field.”

These changes come as a result of last seasons NFC championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New Orleans Saints. The game was mired in controversy when refs missed a blatant pass interference call on the Rams that cost the Saints an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl.