It was not your ordinary entry on an official NFL play-by-play sheet: “SkyCam malfunction.”
But there it was on Sunday, with 8:39 left in the third quarter of the Jets’ 20-17 victory over the Bills — a delay of about 12 minutes when the camera that TV networks (in this case CBS) use to get shots from over the field broke.
Well, not the camera itself.
A source familiar with the malfunction told Newsday that a cable snapped, rendering unusable the elaborate setup used by all television networks that visit MetLife Stadium.
“It only happens to the Jets,” coach Robert Saleh said later.
Said quarterback Zach Wilson, “I’ve never seen that before.”
The timing was unfortunate for the Jets, who at the time were on a roll offensively.
Three plays after the camera was removed from its remaining cables and the game resumed, Wilson lost a fumble. (But two plays after that, Sauce Gardner’s interception gave the Jets the ball back.)
Gardner said fellow cornerback D.J. Reed urged defensive players on the bench to stay warm.
They did, but they also cleared out an area on the sideline from which the camera dangled precariously for several minutes.
“We got up and started stretching,” Gardner said, “at the same time trying to make sure the thing didn’t fall on our head.”