NFL says new catch rule was not used in Super Bowl LII

Corey Clement catches a touchdown pass during the second half of Super Bowl 52.

The NFL believes it did not use the new catch standard in last year’s Super Bowl. Earlier this week, NFL owners approved the proposal to change the guidelines used in league’s catch rule.

A report emerged earlier this week that the NFL had applied the new standards during Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis. Two touchdown catches in particular were scrutinized – by Corey Clement and Zach Ertz.

Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked by the Globe’s Ben Volin if the league used the new rule when deciding to uphold Clement’s touchdown reception. Goodell deferred to Al Riveron, NFL senior vice president of officiating, to answer the question.


“No we did not. In order for us to overturn a call, we have to see clearly indisputable evidence,’’ said Riveron. “There was some slight movement, but we didn’t see loss of control, we didn’t see indisputable evidence that he did not have possession of the football.’’

Goodell was also asked about how the sale of the Carolina Panthers was going. The club announced last December that owner Jerry Richardson would sell the franchise amid an investigation by the league into allegations of sexual and racist misconduct by Richardson in the workplace. The commissioner said the investigation is ongoing before commenting of the sale.

“The sale process is moving along with unprecedented interest,’’ said Goodell. “We’re excited by that. I would expect that it would come to a conclusion some time so that the potential is, and the hope is that we could vote as a league in May.’’

The commissioner was vague when asked if the league needs to change its national anthem policy.

“That’s something that the ownership and I will continue to discuss and focus on as it’s needed,’’ said Goodell. “My focus has been almost entirely on listening tro players, understanding what they were protesting. We now understand that much better and have a deeper knowledge from our players as well as others in the communities. Now we just want to make this platform extraodinary.’’