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Report: NFL used new catch rule in Super Bowl replay decisions

Super Bowl LII - Philadelphia Eagles v New England Patriots

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - FEBRUARY 04: Zach Ertz #86 of the Philadelphia Eagles scores an 11-yard fourth quarter touchdown past Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium on February 4, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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NFL owners didn’t vote on a new catch rule until Tuesday when it passed unanimously. But, according to ESPN, the league applied the new rule -- even though it wasn’t a rule then -- in Super Bowl LII.

ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio said a conversation with Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, indicated it was “clear” the rule already was in place for replay rulings on touchdown catches by Zach Ertz and Corey Clement.

“They were basically legislating on the fly during the Super Bowl,” Paolantoio said on NFL Live, via a transcript from NESN.

Chris Mortensen agreed with Paolantonio, saying, “I will still maintain, as I said [Monday], that we saw this rule in action during the Super Bowl when the Eagles played the Patriots.”

The Eagles benefited from both rulings, with replay upholding the touchdowns. Ertz’s 11-yard score came with 2:21 left.