NFL: Leaping penalty on Rice was correct

Updated: October 7, 2003, 1:55 PM ET

NEW YORK -- The NFL confirmed officials made the right call when they penalized Simeon Rice for leaping to try to block a field-goal attempt in the Colts' stunning overtime victory over the Buccaneers.

The call Monday night gave Indianapolis a second chance at a field goal that won the game 38-35 and capped one of the greatest comebacks in NFL history. The Colts trailed Tampa Bay by three touchdowns with under four minutes left in regulation.

Rice, a 6-foot-5 defensive end, was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after jumping to try to block Mike Vangerjagt's missed 40-yard field-goal attempt. Vanderjagt got another chance and made a 29-yarder that hit the right upright.

The league confirmed Tuesday what referee Johnnie Grier said after the game: The rules ban running forward, leaping and falling on a player, as Rice did.

Rule 12, section three, article two calls for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a player "clearly running forward and leaping in an obvious attempt to block a field goal or try-kick after touchdown and landing on players unless the leaping player was originally lined up within one yard of the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index