The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clash with the New Orleans Saints is the NFL’s biggest game on the Week 1 schedule. On the league’s biggest stage, the referees seemingly missed Saints’ defensive lineman Cameron Jordan punching one of his opponents.
Midway through the first quarter on Sunday, Tampa Bay’s offense was marching down the field towards the first score of the game. Tensions escalated between the two rivals, with players pushing and shoving in a pile on the ground. Jordan, trying to come to the defense of his teammates, came in swinging with a punch and seemed to hit a Buccaneers’ player in the pile.
While it was an obvious strike on television, the referees missed it entirely. It should have been caught with the five-time Pro Bowl selection immediately ejected from the game. Yet, the officials somehow missed the punch and let the scuffle play out before everyone was separated.
The Buccaneers scored the go-ahead touchdown, but they should be playing with the benefit of one of the NFL’s best edge rushers being sidelined. Instead, the Saints still have Jordan and he’ll cause havoc in Tampa Bay’s backfield.