Panthers’ Adam Thielen questions officiating after close loss to Packers


Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen was a bit perturbed over one of the calls that benefited the Green Bay Packers late in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ 33-30 loss on Sunday.

On 3rd-and-4 with 2:39 left in the game, Packers quarterback Jordan Love found wide receiver Romeo Doubs down the sideline as Doubs seemingly made the catch over a Panthers defensive back. However, it wasn’t exactly clear whether Doubs maintained control of the ball as he hit the ground. The ball appeared to pop out.

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Romeo Doubs of the Green Bay Packers catches a pass for a touchdown during the game against the Carolina Panthers, Dec. 24, 2023, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. (David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The referees determined Doubs maintained possession. The call kept the drive alive and the team scored the go-ahead field goal to avoid the upset.

Thielen thought Doubs dropped the ball.

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“Yeah, I saw the whole play,” he said, per the Charlotte Observer. “I saw a catch and then the ball moving as he’s going to the ground. [The] ball moves, controls it again, hits the ground and then loses it again. So, in my opinion, the ball moved twice at two different times. So, there really wasn’t enough time to control the ball.”

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Thielen added, “Kind of what you get when you play the Packers.”

The Athletic’s Joe Person relayed the pool report with NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson after the game. Anderson said officials saw that Doubs had control of the ball with his left hand.

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Adam Thielen runs

Adam Thielen of the Carolina Panthers runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers, Dec. 24, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina. (David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“The ruling on the field, obviously, is where we start. It was a catch and the receiver maintained control throughout the process as he was going to the ground,” Anderson said. “We actually did see the ball touch the ground, but we also saw that he had control of the ball in his left hand.”

“The left hand never came off the ball and there was no available shots that show that he actually lost control of the ball in his left hand even though the ball touched the ground. The ball is allowed to touch the ground as long as there’s not evidence that he lost control, and we didn’t think it was clear and obvious that he did. And since the ruling on the field was a catch, we stayed with the ruling on the field.”

Adam Thielen vs Packers

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen was a bit perturbed over one of the calls that benefited the Green Bay Packers late in the fourth quarter of the Panthers’ 33-30 loss on Sunday. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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With the 33-30 win, Green Bay kept its slim playoff chances alive and moved to 7-8 on the year. The Panthers fell to 2-13.

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