The NFL decided to briefly pause Sunday’s AFC Championship game, which the Kansas City Chiefs prevailed 17-10 over the Baltimore Ravens, after a drone was spotted near M&T Bank Stadium.
With 6:01 remaining in the first quarter, referee Shawn Smith announced that the game would be stopped due to an administrative timeout, which isn’t something you see every day in the NFL. After coming back from a commercial, CBS announcer Jim Nantz revealed that the game had been stopped because officials had spotted a drone in the area.
Under FAA rules, there’s a temporary flight restriction over any NFL stadium whenever there’s a game being played. This means that airplanes can’t fly over the stadium and it also means that drones can’t fly within three miles of any NFL or MLB stadium that seats at least 30,000 fans, according to the Associated Press.
If a drone is spotted, the NFL simply stops the game until the situation is resolved. This is actually the second time this year that a game in Baltimore has had to be stopped due to a drone. Back in Week 11, the Ravens Thursday night game against the Bengals had to be briefly stopped due to a drone in the area.
During that situation, authorities were able locate the drone operator, who was ordered to land his drone. There were actually a total of five drones that were located at that game and the NFL will be hoping that they don’t have to deal with the same situation in the AFC title game.
When the drone showed up in November, it was the first time that Ravens coach John Harbaugh had ever had to deal with a stoppage like that.
“We saw them up there — drones. That’s a first,” Harbaugh said back in November. “I thought I’d seen it all with the Super Bowl, the lights going out at the Super Bowl. Now we got drones flying around.”
The stoppage during the AFC Championship only lasted a few minutes and it’s been clean sailing ever since.
If you want the latest on the Ravens-Chiefs game, be sure to check out our live blog here.