Originally Posted by Rock Chalk
No, you lose that challenge if its not a first down. I gaurantee you that's how that works.
You can only challenge forward progress with respect to a first down. If forward progress does not result in a first down on the challenge, you lose the challenge (even if they move the ball) and lose your time out. The timeout would not have been important but the loss of the challenge may have been.
edit: Rule 3, Section 9, Part C.5
Thanks for this. It is how I thought it was handled, but wasn't 100% sure. I think a challenge would have been a good risk to use in that case. It would have resulted in respotting the ball, and a possible first down. There was a very good angle showing the ball conclusively, the tip of the ball right against the 24 yardline- the yardline needed for a first down. If the resulting spot would have been short, it would not have been short by more than 2 inches. They would have been in good position to go for it. Not sure that is what Fox wants though, knowing how conservative he likes to be.
Edit: I clicked the Rock Chalk's attachment of the NFL rules, and the section referenced in his post has nothing to do with forward progress in relation to 1st down. I looked closely in the section about reviewable plays, and there is no section regarding rules about reviewing forward progress in relation to a first down, EXCEPT for this NOTE concerning non-reviewable plays:
(Copied and pasted)
Note: Non-reviewable plays include but are not limited to:
1. Status of the clock
2. Proper down
3. Penalty administration
4. Runner ruled down by defensive contact (not involving fumbles)
5. Forward progress not relating to first down or goal line
6. Recovery of a loose ball that does not involve a boundary line or the end zone.
7. Field-goal or Try attempts that cross above either upright without touching anything. 8. Inadvertent Whistle
The part I bolded above (#5) suggest that forward progress is NOT reviewable on plays that don't involve first downs. So this does suggest that forward progress IS reviewable on plays involving first downs (just as most people thought), although I am unable to find any specifics regarding if a review results in a re-spot of the ball HAS to result in a first down in order for having the challenge to be considered won, and thus not losing the challenge and a timeout.