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Replay rule could be tweaked

San Francisco 49ers' NaVorro Bowman injures his leg

San Francisco 49ers' NaVorro Bowman injures his leg during the second half of the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. (Jan. 19, 2014) Credit: AP

Near the end of the Seahawks' 23-17 win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch fumbled near the 49ers' goal line. The ball was clearly recovered by 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who was also injured on the play, but the officials gave the Seahawks possession after the ball was knocked loose from Bowman's grip and recovered in a pileup by Seattle. Because there was no change of possession ruled on the fumble, the play was not subject to review and therefore couldn't be challenged by 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.

There could be a change on the way to rectify a similar play in the future.

"If you allow a coaches' challenge on a play like that, you could have it subject to a replay review," said Dean Blandino, the NFL's director of officiating.
Look for the league's competition committee to review the rule and make a change in time for the 2014 season.

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