EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Referee Jeff Triplette was knocked face first into the turf and had his nose bloodied during Shaun Ellis' fumble return for a touchdown in the New York Jets' 31-27 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
``I'm good, I'm good,'' Triplette told The Associated Press after the game, with both nostrils filled with gauze. ``It's not a broken nose. It's just bloodied.''
With 1:54 remaining, Abram Elam sacked J.P. Losman from behind and caused a fumble, and Ellis picked up the ball and rumbled into the end zone for the go-ahead score. During the hectic play, Bills center Duke Preston hit Triplette from behind and the official fell face first into the Meadowlands turf.
``There's nothing he could've done to prevent that,'' Triplette said. ``It's a loose ball, it's a fumble and it's just football.''
Triplette was checked by trainers briefly and then worked the rest of the game while wiping his face with a towel. He said Preston sought him after the game to check on him and apologize.
e's a really classy young man. He wanted to know if I was OK.''
Triplette and the rest of his crew were laughing about the injury as they got ready to leave the stadium, with umpire Jim Quirk pointing to his bright red slacks.
``His nose matches my pants,'' Quirk said, causing Triplette and the crew to chuckle.
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