October 26, 2018 / 1:52 AM / in a month

NFL notebook: NFL fires official who blew obvious call

An NFL official has lost his stripes, having been fired for poor performance.

Oct 8, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden speaks with head linesman Hugo Cruz (94) in the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Down judge Hugo Cruz was on the officiating crew in Week 6 when the Los Angeles Chargers played the Browns in Cleveland. Cruz failed to call a false start on Chargers left tackle Russell Okung, and while the Browns’ defenders expected the play to be whistled dead, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyrell Williams.

According to FootballZebras.com, which tracks football officiating, he is the first official fired during the season for performance issues in the Super Bowl era. The website was the first to report the news on Thursday.

Cruz has not worked a game since that one. He became an NFL official in 2015.

—Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman called comments from Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid earlier this week a “slap in the face” to the Players Coalition.

Last Sunday, Reid confronted Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins during the pregame coin toss and later accused Jenkins of being a “sellout” to the coalition and the movement, started by ex-NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s social justice protests.

“To hear Eric come out and do what he did, it’s almost like, wow, that was a slap in the face because Malcolm has been nothing but stand up in the Players Coalition,” Norman said. “Nothing but stand up, and everyone knows that.”

—Already thin at cornerback, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced that injured A.J. Bouye and Tyler Patmon would not travel to London for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Bouye, a Pro Bowl selection last season, injured his calf in Wednesday’s practice and did not participate in Thursday’s session. Patmon injured his neck in last Sunday’s loss to the Houston Texans and has not practiced this week.

The Jaguars have a bye next week, giving the injured players more time to recover before the Week 10 game at the Indianapolis Colts.

—Field Level Media

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