NFL admits officials missed a penalty on Baker Mayfield hit, report says

The NFL believes it missed a key penalty in Sunday’s game between Cleveland and Tampa Bay.

According to, which cited an unidentified source, Buccaneers safety Jordan Whitehead should have been penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and could face possible discipline as a result.

The play, which is under review after being sent to NFL vice president of policy and rules administration Jon Runyon, occurred in the fourth quarter and initially drew a flag before it was picked up by the officiating crew.

After discussing the play, referee Shawn Hochuli announced “the quarterback is still a runner and therefore is allowed to be hit in the head. He had not yet begun his slide. There is no foul.”

The Bucs went on to earn a 26-23 victory in overtime.

If the league finds the play should have resulted in a penalty, Whitehead could face a minimum fine of $26,739.

The Browns (2-4-1) will continue their road trip when they visit the Steelers (3-2-1) in Week 8, while the Bucs (3-3) head North to face the Bengals (4-3).