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Marvin Jones thought he was in, and according to him, so did a couple of the officials working Sunday’s Detroit Lions-Green Bay Packers game.
Jones made what nearly was a spectacular catch with just over 9 minutes to play in Sunday’s 31-24 loss, when he ran a stutter-and-go route against Packers cornerback Kevin King.
Jones made a twisting catch near the goal line, but officials ruled his right foot did not touch in-bounds before he had possession of the ball.
“I knew I had it,” Jones said. “Obviously, when I caught the ball my feet were down, so when I got up and he said it was incomplete, yeah, it threw me for a loop. Especially when I saw it on the big screen, I mean, both of my feet were down when the ball was in my hand.”
Interim Lions coach Darrell Bevell challenged the ruling on the field, but the call was upheld on replay even as screen grabs flooded the internet appearing to show Jones’ right foot on the ground with the ball in his hands.
“I don’t know if I can say too much without getting in trouble or something like that, but I definitely think it was a catch,” Jones said. “I was actually mic’d up and there were a couple of refs that thought it was a catch, too, so I’ll just leave it at that.”
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Bevell said the play, which would have given the Lions a first-and-goal inside the 1, was worth challenging, with the Lions down 14 points and in need of a touchdown.
They scored six snaps later, after two defensive holding penalties on the Packers — and after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford took a big hit to the ribs that knocked him out of the game.
The Lions were on the wrong end of a second review later in the fourth quarter, when officials determined Jack Fox’s onside kick was out of bounds before it was recovered by Miles Killebrew.
The Packers got a game-clinching first down three plays later, and Aaron Rodgers took two kneel-down snaps to kill the clock.
“I thought Marvin made a really good attempt at the ball,” Bevell said. “I saw the ball in his hands. It was a play worth challenging. It gave us an opportunity to be down there at the 1 or 2 or in the end zone, so a big play there. And then the last one, the onside kick. That’s a booth review for us. We gave ourselves a chance and that’s what we were looking for.”