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NFL changes wording to catch after Dez Bryant play

PHOENIX — The NFL on Monday changed their wording of what constitutes a catch, a reaction to Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant’s catch — which was ruled an incomplete pass — in the playoffs.

The NFL Competition Committee has not changed the rule of what constitutes a catch, but tweaked the wording. Rather than “making a football move,” a receiver must “establish himself as a runner” in order to register a completed pass. If he is falling to the ground, the receiver must hang onto the ball.

“We spent a lot of time on it,” said Rams coach Jeff Fisher, a committee member. “I think it really clears things up. From a coaches’ standpoint, if you’re going to the ground, hand onto the ball.

“To include “become a runner,’ I think that really cleans things up.”

The wording would not have changed the outcome of the Bryant play, which was ruled a catch and then overturned on review.

The committee said Monday that it does not support instant replay of penalties, and will discuss adding a spotter who can communicate directly with officials to stop the clock if a player is deemed injured.