The Colts thought they had Sunday’s game against the Browns won when defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recovered a fumble in the final minute, but their celebration came to an end when a penalty flag was spotted on the field.
Cornerback Darrell Baker Jr. was called for making illegal contact with Browns wideout Amari Cooper and Cleveland got a first down at the 8-yard-line as a result. A pass to Donovan Peoples-Jones in the end zone on the next play sailed incomplete, but Baker was flagged for pass interference and the Browns scored the winning touchdown on fourth down a short time later.
The pass looked like it was uncatchable to many. Baker was in that group and he felt the illegal contact call was a bad one as well.
“I don’t agree with the penalties at all,” Baker said, via Stephen Holder of ESPN.com. “When those balls are uncatchable, they usually throw those flags out. Especially when they’re initiating the contact with the cornerback. You can put hands on him as long as you’re looking for the ball. I’m not impeding their [progress]. I don’t know what else I could do better on that.”
Running back Jonathan Taylor called the penalties a “dagger” and said that the “best thing you can do is to not let the refs get involved in the game.” The Colts could have avoided that by avoiding the four turnovers that helped the Browns have a chance to win in the final seconds, but they’ll have to work on cleaning that up ahead of their next contest.