Allen Park – Lions cornerback Nevin Lawson was flagged for a crushing 66-yard pass interference penalty on the first play of the second quarter in last week’s 34-27 loss to the Packers.
Lawson thought there shouldn't have been a flag on the play and, apparently, the NFL agrees.
Before practice Thursday, Lawson said one of his coaches relayed a message that league officials admitted it made the wrong call.
"To be honest, I didn't really learn anything. The league came back and said it wasn't pass interference so just got to keep playing,” Lawson said. “Stuff like that happens, so it doesn't discourage me by any means. I'm just going to continue to play.”
On the play, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rolled to his left before launching a pass down the middle to rookie Trevor Davis. Lawson grabbed Davis’ right arm and let go before the ball arrived, but Davis stumbled and fell, drawing the flag.
The penalty gave the Packers the ball at the Lions 2-yard line and Rodgers threw a touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers on the next play for a 21-3 lead early in the second.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, Lawson’s 66-yard penalty is the longest in at least 30 seasons.
"It's definitely frustrating because you get that call wrong and the worst part about it is it affected that drive and we gave up a touchdown,” Lawson said. “Can't get that back. The only thing we get is an apology. It's frustrating, but like I said, we have to continue to play and just move on."
Lawson said he’d be in favor of pass interference calls being reviewable and 15-yard penalties instead of spot fouls, like in college. Lawson added he hopes the league’s admission “starts a conversation.”
"There's a lot of things that's being reviewed, especially for the offensive side,” Lawson said. “For us, that would be awesome because nine out of 10 (times) I feel like those calls should be reviewable because I don't really think a lot of those calls should be called.
“They never call receivers pushing off but they do that 99 percent of the time. They don't call that, so if they can review some of those things, they can see what's really going on."
Lions coach Jim Caldwell said following the game he thought pass interference shouldn’t have been called and didn’t back down from that stance on Thursday, but declined to comment further.