Hail Mary referee to work Lions-Packers again

Justin Rogers
The Detroit News
Devin Taylor reaches in on Aaron Rodgers and is called for a facemask penalty on the play before the Packers' Hail Mary TD pass to end the game.

Allen Park – The official who made the controversial face mask penalty against Detroit Lions defensive end Devin Taylor, setting the stage for the Green Bay Packers’ Hail Mary victory at Ford Field last season, has been assigned to Lions-Packers Week 3 matchup this Sunday.

"I think I heard about that, but that doesn't change anything about how I'm going to play or what's going to happen in the game," Taylor said."

Carl Cheffers, one of two officials who threw a flag on the play, confirmed he stood by the decision to penalize Taylor during an August session with Detroit media to discuss the NFL’s new rule changes and points of emphasis.

“I think it was an illegal tackle,” Cheffers said.  “Horse-collar, facemask, I think it was an illegal tackle. I’m very comfortable with it.”

With the Lions up two points and no time remaining, Taylor whipped Aaron Rodgers to the ground after the Packers quarterback received a cross-field lateral. The tackle should have ended the game. Televised replays showed the defender’s thumb grazing the quarterback’s face mask, simultaneous to Rodgers tucking his chin into his chest.

The infraction gave the Packers one more snap, with the clock reading all zeros. After scrambling to avoid the pass rush, Rodgers heaved the ball 65 yards into the end zone where it was hauled in by tight end Richard Rodgers, giving the Packers the win.

“That’s one of things we all enjoy about getting to do what we do,” Cheffers said. “It was an exciting play. I’m in Detroit, so I’m sure it wasn’t the most popular play in the world, but we’re football fans, too, or we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. Any time you get to be part of a great play like that, it’s pretty exciting.”

Taylor was not fined for the play.