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 Referee Jeff Triplette added a bright splash of red blood to his black and white stripes on a rough NFL Sunday that didn't even spare the officials from the pain.
Triplette was knocked face first into the Giants Stadium 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.
``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. During the hectic play, Bills center Duke Preston hit Triplette from behind.
``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.''
f for several minutes while Titans officials looked at him. He finally got up and hobbled off the field.
``Hopefully if he's not able to go next week we have somebody else who can step in and pick up the slack,'' defensive end Jevon Kearse said.
Texans cornerback Antwaun Molden broke his ankle in that game and will miss the remainder of the season.
Triplette should be back sooner. He was checked briefly by trainers and then worked the rest of the game while wiping his face with a towel. Preston sought him after the game to check on him and apologize.
``He's a really classy young man because he came to the locker room afterward and wanted to know if I was OK,'' Triplette said. ``Whoever No. 75 is, he's a really classy young man.''
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.
Triplette wasn't the only official to spill blood on the gridiron. Umpire Scott Dawson left the game between the San Francisco 49ers and host Miami in the second quarter when he suffered a bloody nose after being blindsided by two Dolphins defenders.
l said the team had no information about any injury.
On the other side, 49ers offensive tackle Adam Snyder left in the first quarter due to a sprained left ankle. San Francisco was without starting running back Frank Gore, because of a sprained left ankle.
Minnesota DT Pat Williams left the game at Arizona in the second quarter after aggravating a shoulder injury. Williams has been playing because a federal judge in Minnesota issued an injunction blocking his league suspension for violating the substance abuse policy.
The Indianapolis Colts had their injury troubles before they even took the field against the winless Detroit Lions. The Colts' defense was missing three starters: safety Bob Sanders, middle linebacker Gary Brackett and defensive tackle Keyunta Dawson.
Detroit safety Dwight Smith broke his ankle in the second quarter, and cornerback Keith Smith left because of a groin injury.
Bills rookie wide receiver James Hardy left early in the first quarter of Buffalo's loss to the Jets with an injured left knee and didn't return. Bills coach Dick Jauron was unsure of the severity of the injury, but said, ``We'll have to remain optimistic.''
The St. Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks each sustained injuries in a game between struggling teams merely playing out the string.
ved the injury was serious. Stanley is expected to have an MRI taken Monday. Seattle left tackle Sean Locklear dislocated a toe on his left foot when Rams lineman Adam Carriker fell on him during the Seahawks' winning field goal and was carted off.
Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith left Jacksonville's 20-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers late in the third quarter due to a groin injury and didn't return.
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