Brandon Aiyuk and the San Francisco 49ers were bailed out pretty good by an odd NFL rule on Sunday evening.
The 49ers wide receiver muffed a punt by the Colts – understandable, given the nasty weather in San Francisco on Sunday night – and he and the ball ended up in the end zone.
However, when he was reigned in by the Colts’ punt return coverage, the officials did not call for a safety. Instead, they called for a touchback.
Because Aiyuk never had possession of the ball until he reached the end zone, the officials called for a touchback.
Somehow this play resulted in a touchbackpic.twitter.com/DZO821tdM1
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) October 25, 2021
NFL fans are pretty furious with the rule.
“So if a punt is rolling inside the 5, I can just kick it out the back of the end zone for a touchback?” one fan asked.
“Note to self: If a punt trickles inside the 10 yard line, boot it into the end zone for a free touchback,” another fan added.
“There’s no way if you do something like this you should get a touchback,” another fan wrote.
It’s a loophole, for sure.
Brandon Aiyuk kicked that ball straight through a loophole in the rulebook
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) October 25, 2021
The Colts lead the 49ers, 13-12, at halftime.
The game is airing on NBC.