Jaguars’ Cam Robinson Ejected vs. Dolphins for Making Contact with Official

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74) has words with a Tennessee Titans player after an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Wade Payne/Associated Press

Jacksonville Jaguars offensive lineman Cam Robinson was ejected against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football after making contact with an official.  

The incident occurred during a pile-up near the line of scrimmage when a fumble from Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II led to a scramble for the ball from both teams. Robinson lay at the bottom of the pile, and he was seen on replay pushing away the hand of an official who was digging for the ball.

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It’s unclear if Robinson knew who was reaching past him as the official blocked his field of vision. 

The Dolphins recovered the ball and scored a touchdown moments later to take a 28-7 lead. 

The ejection immediately elicited criticism from the broadcast booth of Troy Aikman and Joe Buck, as well as from rules expert Mike Pereira.

Pereira, the NFL’s former vice president of officiating, was especially skeptical of the decision given the circumstances. 

“If you’re an official digging into a pile, and you’re doing your job, a player doesn’t know who that is behind him,” Pereira said on the broadcast. “You have to use some common sense.”

The NFL rulebook explicitly lays out the grounds for ejection when a player comes into contact with an official: “Under no circumstance is a player allowed to shove, push, or strike an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner. The player shall be disqualified from the game, and any such action must be reported to the Commissioner.”

It seems unlikely NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would hand down additional punishment here as Robinson’s shove appeared to be more in self-defense than an offensive or disrespectful act. 

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