Late in the first half of Seattle's Week 9 win, Sherman jumped offside as the Bills lined up to attempt a field goal. Although his path to the kicker was unabated, the play was not blown dead, allowing Sherman to hit Carpenter as he tried to block a potential kick. NFL VP of officiating Dean Blandino stated during the game that Sherman should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness on the hit:
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In the ensuing confusion, Carpenter had to come off of the field for one play due to his injury. The Bills spiked the ball to waste one play and get Carpenter back on the field, then drew a delay of game penalty after the officials took an abnormally long time to spot the ball — including one ref standing over the ball with less than five seconds remaining on the play clock. Carpenter missed the subsequent kick.
On Wednesday, Sherman explained his reasoning to reporters:
“There was no whistle,” Sherman said Wednesday. “So the league goes back and hindsights everything and says this and says that because they want to appease the fans, but I know the rulebook, and I know exactly what I was doing on the play.
“It's very similar to a free play for all the uninformed people out there. If you watch Aaron Rodgers or any team, they draw a team offside, and if a guy comes scot-free at the quarterback and he's about to get hit in the face, the refs will usually blow it dead then so the quarterback doesn't get hit. But if a guy's not coming scot-free, they'll let the play go on, and a lot of teams score touchdowns like that. They were doing the same thing. If the kick would have gone through, they would have said good kick, declined the penalty, field goal good. They've got three points. But they didn't blow the ball dead until he kicked it, so that is what it is.”
According to a separate report from ESPN.com, Monday night's officiating crew is not expected to be disciplined for the failure to blow the whistle dead or any of the other potential mistakes made at the end of the half:
The crew members will, however, be evaluated under the standard process that holds them accountable for every call in each game, those they make and those they do not. Grades accumulate throughout season and top-rated officials receive postseason assignments. Officials who perform below standard are let go if they don't show improvement.