Colts owner Jim Irsay reveals NFL admitted botching calls in loss; wants penalties reviewed by replay

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay wants the NFL to do more than just admit wrong calls were made in his team’s controversial loss to the Cleveland Browns this past Sunday. 

He wants a rule change. 

Irsay says the NFL admitted that the officiating crew for the Colts-Browns game got two calls against Indianapolis wrong with 50 seconds left to play that ultimately allowed Cleveland to have wonderful field position for a game-winning touchdown. 


Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay talks to the fans during the Dwight Freeney induction to the Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 10, 2019, in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

An apology isn’t enough for Irsay, though. He believes the NFL needs to institute the use of replay for not just what players do on the field, but for referees as well. 

“The NFL admits and understands that they did not make the correct calls at the end of Sunday’s Colts/Browns Game,” Irsay posted on X. “I believe we need to institute Instant Replay for all calls, including Penalties, in the last two minutes of All Games.”

This would obviously be a drastic change to the NFL rulebook, but two flags that should’ve stayed in the referees’ pocket did cost Irsay’s team a game. 


Colts cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. was the culprit behind the penalties flagged on Sunday, the first of which was labeled illegal contact on Browns receiver Amari Cooper. Though Baker was fooled by Cooper’s route, it didn’t appear that he contacted him enough to impede his movement. 

It was a significant flag on third down because Browns quarterback P.J. Walker had been strip-sacked and the Colts recovered it. The game would’ve been over with an Indianapolis win. 

Jim Irsay in Minnesota

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during an NFL special league meeting at the JW Marriott in Bloomington on Tuesday, August 9, 2022. (AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Instead, the Browns got closer to the goal line when Baker was flagged on the very next play, this time on a questionable pass interference penalty that didn’t seem to be the case, especially since Walker’s ball was thrown well over the head of Donovan Peoples-Jones. 

Even if a play dictates pass interference, an uncatchable ball negates a penalty happening, which replay seemed to show in this case. 

Either way, that interference call gave the Browns the ball at the one-yard line on first-and-goal. While they couldn’t get in the end zone on their first three attempts, running back Kareem Hunt just stretched the ball over the goal line on fourth-and-goal to win the game. 

NFL Network pointed out that the league communicates with teams “on a weekly basis” regarding calls made during games, but that information is not divulged to the public. 

With Irsay commenting on it publicly, a response from the league office could come down on the situation. 

Jim Irsay speaks at podium

Jim Irsay speaks at 15th Annual HOPE luncheon seminar honoring Michael Phelps at The Plaza on November 10, 2021, in New York City. (Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)


The Colts moved to 3-4 on the season, while the Browns are now 4-2 after Sunday’s win.  

Scott Thompson is a sports writer for Fox News Digital.

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