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Hand-clapping issues continue for Arizona Cardinals in Minnesota

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The clapping calls continue.

Entering the third preseason game of the year, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury felt confident the hand-clapping dilemma was behind him.

“I think we understand their point of view and they understand ours, so I expect it to be solved,” the head coach said about the issue on Aug. 17.

Against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, it was a different look for rookie quarterback Kyler Murray as he avoided using the hand clap throughout the game, going with the silent count.

But just as it seemed under wraps, in came backup signal caller Brett Hundley.

While Murray kept his false starts in check, Hundley was the lone culprit, incurring not one but two hand-clap penalties late in the first half.


Hundley got caught right away, picking up false start penalties on his first and third play from scrimmage.


Kingsbury was asked about the calls at the half.

“I don’t want to be fined so I’m going to stay away from that,” Kingsbury told Cardinals reporter Lisa Matthews at halftime. “But it’s an interesting, ongoing discussion that we’ve been having.”

Following the game, referee Walt Anderson explained the reasoning behind the calls.

The head coach has been in communication with NFL officials since at least Aug. 15, when Murray was first called for the fake snaps (hand claps).

Much like Hundley, Murray was called for two hand-clap penalties in the team’s 33-26 loss to the Oakland Raiders. Ahead of the game, Kingsbury was even seen talking to officials about the motion.

According to Section 4, Article 2 of the NFL rulebook, “any quick abrupt movement by a single offensive player, or by several offensive players in unison, which simulates the start of the snap, is a false start.”

Item 4 of that article explains more regarding quarterbacks in shotgun formation.

“A player who is in position to receive the snap in shotgun formation is permitted to shift his feet prior to the snap, but any quick and abrupt movement is a false start,” it reads. “This includes thrusting his hands forward when there is not a simultaneous snap.”

While the rule ultimately comes down to a judgment call by the officiating crew, it’ll be interesting to see how Kingsbury and the Cardinals move forward with their pre-snap procedures following Saturday.

“We have multiple cadences, we went on a true silent count for most of the game today,” Kingsbury said. “We’ll mix things up. I think we’ll come to a logical conclusion with the league on our clap cadence, but as of right now I’m not going to say too much else.”

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