Referees can't flag themselves for pass interference.
That's a good thing for the Washington Commanders.
Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke thew a wild go-ahead touchdown pass to Curtis Samuel on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. He got some help from an official along the way.
Facing second-and-7 from Minnesota's 49-yard line early in the third quarter, Heinicke looked deep to Samuel on a post route in triple coverage. Vikings safety Camryn Bynum had a bead on the pass and was in position to make a play on the ball. That is until he met an unexpected obstruction.
The official downfield found himself in the middle of traffic, and Bynum barreled into him as he set up to make a play. Bynum and the official tumbled to the turf and Samuel caught the ball and rolled into the end zone untouched for a 49-yard score to give Washington a 10-7 lead.
Officials reviewed the play to confirm that Samuel wasn't touched down before rolling into the end zone. Pass interference by an official is, of course, not a thing. Even it if was, it wouldn't be reviewable.
"The official’s a part of the field," Fox officiating analyst Dean Blandino explained. "Just a bad break."
Samuel wasn't touched, and the play stood to give Washington a three-point lead.
That's a tough way to give up a go-ahead touchdown on the road. Fortunately for the Vikings, it didn't cost them the game. They scored 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to secure a 20-17 win.