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Maybe the penalty shouldn't count, and the refs should deal with the consequences since they screwed up not Grad
A play doesn't HAVE to happen for them to penalize a team for a personal foul. A player could be flagged for a personal fould during a timeout.
I get the rule, it just doesn't make sense if the play never should've really happened....
Look at it from another point of view in an extreme scenario. Let's say Ronde picks one off and start running it back and Carson Palmer roundhouse kicks Ronde in the throat with his cleats. If the play gets called back, you still have to penalize Palmer for a roundhouse kick to the throat. The NFL makes no distinction between a roundhouse kick to the throat and Bruce's face mask. They are both non-football related penalties. They are both personal fouls which are unrelated to football penalties such as holding or offsides.If you couldn't penalize players for misconduct because of a bad call, a defender could just kick Caddy in the nuts after a questionable call. If the call stands you get penalized for kicking Caddy in the nuts, but if it doesn't, then you get away scott free and Caddy is hurt. Obviously the NFL can't allow things like that to happen.