Side judge who missed clock runoff suspended 1 game

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NEW YORK (AP) The NFL has suspended side judge Rob Vernatchi for one game for not managing the clock properly in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's game at San Diego on Monday night.

After a kickoff that was not returned, 18 seconds ran off the clock. The side judge is in charge of monitoring the game clock, which is kept on the stadium scoreboard.

Vernatchi ''will not officiate in Week 6 as a result of the failure to notice that the game clock was incorrectly started,'' league spokesman Michael Signora said Thursday. Signora added Vernatchi is being taken off the field for one week and then will return to referee Pete Morelli's crew.

Such a move is unusual for the NFL, which rarely publicly reprimands game officials.

Signora said the status of the clock operator in San Diego, an NFL employee, is under review.


AP NFL website: and