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Carl Cheffers set to work as referee for Lions-Packers game at Lambeau

The Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers will see a familiar face as the referee Sunday at Lambeau Field: Carl Cheffers.

Cheffers does not come without controversy in this rivalry. It was Cheffers who was the referee when the Packers and Lions last played each other -- otherwise known as the Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary game.

That game ended on the second-longest Hail Mary to end a regular-season game in NFL history, a 61-yard heave from Aaron Rodgers to Richard Rodgers on the final play to give the Packers a 27-23 win on Dec. 3, 2015.

The play came on an untimed down after Lions defensive end Devin Taylor was flagged for a face mask while tackling Aaron Rodgers on the last play of regulation. The Lions thought they had won the game, but Cheffers' crew threw the flag, called the face mask and extended the game by another play.

The call on Taylor was heavily questioned, but Cheffers defended it when he was coincidentally assigned to the Lions' training camp in August to give a presentation on new rules to reporters. He was asked about the flag then, and stuck by the initial call.

"I think it's an illegal tackle," Cheffers said. "Horse-collar, face mask, I think it was an illegal tackle. So I'm very comfortable with it."

Taylor had initially not believed it was a face mask and was not fined by the NFL for the play. Lions coach Jim Caldwell also said he did not believe it was a face mask at the time. Aaron Rodgers said after that game he believed it was.

Cheffers explained in August what a face mask call is.

"It's just control," Cheffers said. "So if you get fingers in there and you control the mask, there's really no element of time or anything like that in that. It's just controlling the mask, so turning the thing sideways or anything like that is enough control to have a face mask penalty."

During that meeting with the Detroit media, Cheffers was asked by reporters to watch the play again to help clarify the horse-collar and face mask call. He refused, saying, "It's 2016, dude," as he rebuffed the request.

Cheffers said in that August meeting he watched the play when he reviewed it following the game.

The Hail Mary that followed has become an iconic NFL play, featured on advertisements for the league and winning an ESPY this summer for Best Play.