A strange NFL rule cancelled what would have been a reviewed, and overturned touchdown run in the Texans and Lions Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit on Thursday.

Houston running back Justin Forsett  was knocked to the ground on a third quarter run, but got up and continued running for an 81-yard score. Forsett's forearm and knee were clearly down on television replays.

The touchdown cut Detroit's lead to 24-21.

But because Lions coach Jim Schwartz instantly threw a flag to challenge the play, the officials never got to take a second look.

The league has begun using automatic booth reviews for all scoring plays, so teams don't need to challenge. In fact, they can't challenge.

Apparently, if a coach throws his flag on a scoring play - or in a situation he can't challenge - it becomes an illegal challenge, negating the booth review and meaning the play stands either way.


Because a team cannot benefit from illegally throwing a challenge flag.

That was the explanation CBS analyst Phil Simms said he was given by the NFL offices during a commercial break.

The benefit being a review and overturn of the touchdown call to a down by contact.

Simms had previously stated the play couldn't be reviewed because a whistle was never blown, which is not a rule.

It would seem this is something the league should address next offseason - in the spirit of making sure refs can get the call correct, and prevent a similar play in the future.

Here's a suggestion:

If it is illegal for Schwartz to challenge there, how about assessing an illegal conduct penalty? Review the touchdown, overturn it, then mark off the misconduct penalty from the spot Forsett was down.

The Texans went on to a 34-31 win in overtime to improve their record to 10-1. The Lions fell to 4-7.