Colts: Ridiculous NFL rule somehow saves 49ers from self-inflicted safety

The Sunday Night Football matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts has been played in hurricane-like conditions. Swirling winds and buckets of rain have made it almost impossible to hang onto the football.

Carson Wentz and Jimmy Garoppolo have both fumbled snaps. Jonathan Taylor fumbled in the first play of the game. Deebo Samuel fumbled just before halftime. It’s been a mess.

What’s even more of a disaster, though? The NFL rulebook, which somehow screwed the Colts out of a safety in the second quarter.

Indy was forced to punt on fourth down and Rigoberto Sanchez absolutely boomed a kick 59 yards in the air, placing it nicely outside the numbers. As a result, 49ers return man Brandon Aiyuk made a bad read on it, the ball took a heavy Colts bounce, and he chased after it in an effort not to lose even more yardage.

Then he accidentally kicked it. Then he picked it up. Then he ran into the end zone. Then he was tackled for a safety! … Or was he?

The Colts got screwed out of a safety because of an insane NFL rule.

Aiyuk accidentally kicking the ball somehow saved him from the ultimate embarrassment because, according to the rules, players cannot affect the “impetus” of the ball in that manner.

OK. That kind of makes sense. However … had the Colts recovered this ball in the end zone, they would have been rewarded a touchdown. Where’s the logic there? Shouldn’t the play just be blown dead once it hits that player’s foot if that’s the case? How can you have two completely different outcomes, one of which sounds like a technicality that has failed to be addressed?

The ball reaching the end zone was only the fault of Aiyuk’s. He misread the punt, couldn’t handle the ball, then picked it up inside the five-yard line and trotted into the end zone, which gave the 49ers a touchback … instead of giving the Colts points or pinning San Fran deep into their own territory?

Why wouldn’t players just start kicking the ball now when they misplay a punt? It’d probably be smart to alter this rule as soon as possible because nobody sitting at home felt as if Aiyuk’s blunder should’ve awarded him with a touchback.