Trick Play Browns Ran Against Rams Was Actually an Illegal Play


Now you can’t say the Cleveland Browns are completely unlucky, right?

Remember how head coach Pat Shurmur opened up the playbook a little bit against the St. Louis Rams, throwing in some trick plays, including some that were run out of the Wildcat formation? Well, one of them – specifically the one that ended with Colt McCoy completing a pass to Seneca Wallace – was actually an illegal play.

The reason for this was that two forward passes were involved in the play, when NFL rules clearly state that only one forward pass is allowed per play. It started when Josh Cribbs took the snap in the Wildcat, pitched the ball forward to Wallace, who then pitched it back to McCoy, setting up McCoy’s 21-yard pass back to Wallace.

It was a well-executed play but, still, an illegal one. When asked about it, Shurmur said, “I was well aware what happened.”

The play was not challenged or called back, and that series eventually ended in a field goal. So what does this prove? Even when the Browns catch a break they can’t take advantage of it.

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