The NFL announced Tuesday that it would not overturn the outcome of the Seattle Seahawks' controversial Monday night victory over the Green Bay Packers, saying its officiating department had reviewed video and "supports the decision" not to reverse the ruling of a touchdown catch.
In a written statement, the league said it agreed with the decision by an onfield replacement referee that there was "no indisputable visual evidence" to reverse the ruling that Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate and Packers safety M.D. Jennings caught the ball simultaneously.
The play almost immediately intensified calls for the NFL to put its regular officials back on the field. Replacement officials have worked the first three weeks of NFL games with the members of the NFL Referees Association locked out by the league in a labor dispute.
The league did say that the game-winning touchdown should have been nullified by an offensive pass interference penalty on Tate for pushing Green Bay defensive back Sam Shields prior to the catch. But the failure of replacement officials to make that call is not reviewable and the result of the game will stand, the league said in its statement.
"While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground," the league's written statement said. "This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay."
The league also added: "The result of the game is final."
Tate's catch came on the game's final play from scrimmage.
The extra point that followed, some 10 minutes later, gave the Seahawks a 14-12 win.
Meanwhile Tuesday, the NFL and representatives for its locked-out referees were negotiating in an effort to end their dispute, according to several people familiar with the talks.
The talks already had been scheduled before Monday night's controversy, one person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
That person said he didn't believe the furor would have a significant impact on the negotiations. Talks have been ongoing.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league attorney Jeff Pash were among the participants in Tuesday's negotiations, another person said.