Here is the first sentence of Article 1 of Section 3 of Rule 5 of the Official NFL Playing Rules:
“An offensive player wearing the number of an ineligible pass receiver (50-79, 90-99) is permitted to line up in the position of an eligible pass receiver (1-49 and 80-89), and an offensive player wearing the number of an eligible pass receiver is permitted to line up in the position of an ineligible pass receiver, provided that he immediately reports the change in his eligibility status to the Referee, who will inform the defensive team.” (italics added)
The Seattle Seahawks were able to turn the tide, to reverse the negative momentum of a 16 – 0 deficit, in their playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, 1/18/15, by lining up on the Packers’ 19-yard line for a field goal but having the holder throw a touchdown pass to tackle Gary Gilliam, who wears number 79 and who, after reporting to an official his intent to act as an eligible receiver on the play, ran into the end zone and – completely un-defended – caught the pass.
So, here is my question: How on earth could the Packers have not prepared themselves for a fake, for a pass to Mr. Gilliam, if they knew he was acting as a receiver? And a second question: Is it possible the reason the Packers failed to cover Mr. Gilliam is that the referee failed to perform his duty to “inform the defensive team?” Clearly, the play was a massive screwup by someone, either the Green Bay coaching staff or the referee. Anybody know which?