When Mike Tomlin decided to impede Baltimore Ravens returner Jacoby Jones’ route to the end zone on a kid return back on Thanksgiving, the immediate reaction from some was that the Steelers might lose a draft pick as punishment. What ended up happening was a hefty fine without a draft pick being taken away but NFL guru Peter King noted on Friday’s episode of ProFootballTalk on NBC Sports Network that there’s still a slim chance that the Steelers could be penalized a draft pick for the incident.
Note that it’s highly unlikely that the Steelers will lose a draft pick from the whole fiasco because the basis for that happening relies on the nearly impossible task of the Ravens being in the playoff hunt at the end of the season. According to King, if the Ravens miss the playoffs due to the four points that Tomlin robbed them of on the kick return, a draft pick will be taken away from the Steelers.
This is where things get complicated as well as unlikely when it comes to the pick being taken away. Net points scored in a common game happens to be the eighth tiebreaker when determining playoff spots, so in order to have this come back and bite the Steelers, the Ravens would need to be tied with a team and have things come down to that eighth tiebreaker.
Seeing as Baltimore is clinging to what little playoff hopes they still have, this will need a miracle to actually matter. But the Steelers are still quoting Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber, because there’s still a chance that the pick could be taken away, as slim as that chance might be.