Why Jordy Nelson's controversial TD vs. Redskins was ruled a catch


Midway through the second quarter the Packers scored a touchdown as Jordy Nelson grabbed an Aaron Rodgers pass in the back of the end zone. Or did he? 

As Nelson pulled the ball into his belly, Redskins cornerback Josh Norman made a quick play on the ball, knocking it loose and sending it out of the back of the end zone. One ref made no signal, but another signaled touchdown. 

On Twitter the reaction was immediate, as folks were split if Nelson caught the ball or not. Redskins fans overwhelmingly said it was not, but eventually, after review, the referees confirmed the touchdown.

Regardless of the ambiguity surrounding NFL rules on catches, a look at the rule book reveals why the refs gave the Packers the TD. From Kevin Seifert of ESPN:

NFL rules say that a receiver must have the ball long enough to become a runner in order to establish possession. According to the rules, a player has the ball long enough to become a runner when "after his second foot is on the ground, he is capable of avoiding or warding off impending contact of an opponent, tucking the ball away, turning up field or taking additional steps." The rule applies both in the field of play and in the end zone​.

Redskins fans might hate the decision - check Twitter, they do - but the rule seems rather clear.