Deshaun Watson on in the grasp call: Refs made it, we have to live with it

Josh Alper

The NFL sent a reminder to teams and players about the penalties for criticizing officials recently and they fined a handful of players for doing so last week.

Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson had an opportunity to test the league’s disciplinarians this week, but passed on it. Watson was ruled to be in the grasp of Colts defenders on a play that initially appeared to be a touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins. They kicked a field goal instead of taking a 10-7 lead in the first half.

Watson was asked about the play after the game and left little doubt that he disagreed with it while avoiding any incendiary language about the call.

“I went back and forth with the ref. He said I was down,” Watson said at his postgame press conference. “I don’t . . . If you watch the tape of all the plays I extend and make in the red zone . . . He said he was trying to protect my health. It goes back and forth, but that’s the call he made. We have to live with it.”

Watson said the call made a “big difference” on a day when the Texans would ultimately lose 30-23 to their AFC South rivals.