Lamar Jackson trips over official who fell down in end zone, gets safety on penalty

By Frank Schwab

You’ve heard the old joke about a team playing 12-on-11 when an official’s calls seem to keep going against it.

On Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers really did have an extra defender in stripes.

In one of the weirdest plays of this NFL season, or any NFL season, Lamar Jackson took an intentional grounding safety after he tripped over a fallen official in the end zone and attempted a pass. The Baltimore Ravens probably weren’t too pleased about that comical predicament.

Umpire Alex Moore was well behind the play, as usual, when Jackson dropped back to pass. Jackson was under pressure right away and kept retreating. Moore kept retreating too, but he couldn’t keep backpedaling to stay behind Jackson, who was trying to escape the rush at full speed. Moore stumbled as he was going backward and right into Jackson’s path in the end zone. Jackson tripped over the umpire and had to try to unload the ball before he went down.

Because the ball didn’t get past the line of scrimmage, it was intentional grounding. Because the penalty happened in the end zone, it was a safety. That’s horrible luck for Baltimore and quite a break for the 49ers.

Moore wasn’t a well-known official before Monday night. He got plenty of attention early during one of the most anticipated matchups of the NFL season. It’s not a tackle he wanted to make.