PITTSBURGH — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fumbled in the fourth quarter of what became a 23-20 overtime victory for his team against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
At least, that’s what the replay officials and referee Shawn Smith determined. Roethlisberger was attempting a pump fake when the ball slipped out of his hands, a play reminiscent of the infamous Tom Brady Tuck Rule play from the 2001 AFC Championship Game.
But the Tuck Rule has since been modified, and now the determination on whether or not the play is ruled a fumble is if the player’s arm was moving forward or backward. Roethlisberger said the officials told him it was moving back toward his body.
“I was told even though the ball was going forward, my arm was going backwards,” Roethlisberger said.
Unconvinced, Roethlisberger asked the option of backup quarterback Josh Dobbs, who holds an aerospace engineering degree from the University of Tennessee.
“He said it’s not possible,” Roethlisberger relayed. “I can’t get fined for that, becuase I’m just telling you what Dobbs said.”
The play proved not to be impactful in the final tally when the Pittsburgh defense forced a Seattle punt.