Under NFL’s proposed catch rules, Bears’ Zach Miller scored TD vs. Saints

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Bears tight end Zach Miller (86) prepares to haul in a 25-yard touchdown pass from MItch Trubisky in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Saints. Miller appeared to make the catch, but suffered a dislocated knee on the play — and the play was ruled incomplete upon video review. (Butch Dill/AP)

ORLANDO, Fla. — Under the proposed revisions for what constitutes a catch in the NFL, Bears tight end Zach Miller scored a touchdown in New Orleans last season.

That’s according to NFL senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron, who originally overturned Miller’s TD catch against the Saints and later cited extremely debatable evidence on video.


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Speaking at the NFL’s annual meetings Monday, Riveron discussed the proposed changes to the catch rule that are being promulgated by the NFL’s competition committee.

One of the keys within the changes is: “Movement of the ball does not automatically result in loss of control.”

In the third quarter of the Bears’ 20-12 loss to the Saints on Oct. 29, Miller made a leaping 25-yard reception in the end zone over Saints safety Rafael Bush on a pass from quarterback Mitch Trubisky.

Miller suffered a devastating knee injury on the play. He required emergency surgery to repair a severed popliteal artery behind his left knee. The surgery saved his leg from potential amputation.

In his decision to overturn Miller’s catch, Riveron said the ball was loose, and Miller didn’t regain control. In a video review, Riveron pointed to where the ball was loose, but his evidence wasn’t clear.

Asked directly about Miller’s play with regard to the proposed rule changes at his news conference, Riveron only had a one-word answer: “Touchdown.”

The Bears presented Miller with the ball from his reversed touchdown — “Remarkable touchdown catch” is written on it. He shared a picture of it on Twitter after Riveron’s news conference.

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