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NFL still not close to introducing ball-placement technology, following another week of controversial calls

CBS Sports logo CBS Sports 10/24/2021 Jason La Canfora
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The outcry for a better way to spot footballs and determine if a ball has crossed the goal line intensified in Week 7, after there were several instances of tricky goal-line decisions in the Cowboys game at New England, with players and the ball being lost in the pile. But, there is no immediate solution on the horizon.

The NFL has been studying different mechanisms to attempt to be more precise with such matters for years, and spent a considerable amount of time determining if the laser technology used in professional tennis spotting might apply, but to this point there is no quick solution on the horizon. There is certainly support within the Competition Committee and the league in general to implement more calculated means of tracking the ball and determining first downs and other critical decisions, but much work remains to be done.

"As with all changes related to game administration, there is a process," Troy Vincent, the NFL's head of football operations, told me. "Ball-placement technology, along with other considerations for the sideline of the future, is under study, and will be tested, analyzed and discussed as to the impact of the game. At this time there is no definitive date for implementation."

At some point a change of this magnitude would likely begin with the NFL working in conjunction with another football entity (CFL, NCAA conference, perhaps even high school) to study the results in real time and hash out which technology works best, but even that doesn't seem to be particularly close.

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