Just when you thought you might have figured out what a catch is. The NFL changed the catch ruling in the off-season to clear up the confusing around certain catches, particularly ones where the receiver is going to the ground.
Apparently they also made juggling the football as the receiver goes out of bounds a catch as well. That’s exactly what happened on this third quarter touchdown catch by Steelers tight end Vance McDonald.
McDonald catches the Ben Roethlisberger pass in the back of the end zone and as he lands appears to be juggling the ball. He then slides out of bounds with the ball continuing to move throughout the play.
— NFL (@NFL) November 9, 2018
It was ruled a touchdown and upheld on review. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman thought the score was coming off of the board, as did most people who saw the replays. The NFL officiating Twitter account sent out a tweet explaining the ruling.
“In #CARvsPIT, @steelers TE Vance McDonald has two feet in bounds and never loses control of the football. The ball can move as long as the receiver never loses control. The ruling on the field is confirmed.” – AL
It looks like the NFL has made anything that doesn’t fall to the ground a catch, as long as the receiver keeps one hand on the ball they can juggle it throughout the catch.