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NFL notebook: Officating crew erred,league tells Shanahan

| Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, 9:36 p.m.

NEW YORK — Redskins coach Mike Shanahan spoke Monday with the NFL's director of officiating after the league said Sunday night's crew made an error on Washington's final drive.

The league said officials should have stopped play and eliminated confusion about the down and distance at the end of the Giants' 24-17 victory at Washington.

“I talked to Dean earlier today, he gave me a call and just went over the scenario,” Shanahan said, referring to Dean Blandino, who oversees NFL officiating. “Obviously, they made a mistake and you live with it.”

With New York leading by seven points just after the two-minute warning, a catch by the Redskins' Pierre Garcon on second-and-5 was spotted short of a first down at the Washington 45. Referee Jeff Triplette signaled third down. But the head linesman, with the Redskins in a hurry-up offense, incorrectly motioned for the crew to advance the chains, which caused the down boxes to read first down.

“In this situation where there is obvious confusion as to the status of the down, that play should have been stopped prior to third down and the correct down communicated to both clubs,” Blandino said in a statement.

“This should have occurred regardless of the fact that Washington had no timeouts and it was inside two minutes.”

Fox back to work

Broncos coach John Fox returned to work, four weeks after open-heart surgery, his newfound energy matching his renowned enthusiasm.

Fox has been telecommuting for weeks.

As soon as he was released from the hospital after having his aortic valve repaired, a surgery he had hoped to put off until after the Super Bowl, Fox set up a sort of command center at his offseason home in Charlotte, N.C., some 200 yards from the spot on the golf course where he fell ill on Nov. 2 during the Broncos' bye.

Not only was he in daily contact with defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, who guided the Broncos (10-2) to three wins in four games during in his absence.

Smith still Jets starter

Geno Smith didn't have to wait long to find out his fate.

The morning after the Jets benched the rookie quarterback for the third time this season, Smith, a former West Virginia quarterback, learned the starting job would be his again. At least for another week.

Offering the same assurances he once gave Mark Sanchez — practically verbatim — Rex Ryan expressed nothing but confidence in Smith's ability to bounce back from his latest poor outing.

Rams center out

Rams center Scott Wells is likely out for the rest of the season after he broke his left ankle in the first half of Sunday's 23-13 loss at San Francisco.

Wells started the first 12 games of the year.

Tim Barnes, in his second season in the NFL, replaced Wells against the 49ers and likely will get the start on Sunday at Arizona.

WR Harvin inactive

Wide receiver Percy Harvin was inactive for the Seahawks on Monday night, two weeks after making his debut for the team.

Harvin continued to struggle with soreness in his surgically repaired hip.

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