Referee Jeff Triplette had a bad day on Sunday. And his boss noticed.
NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said on NFL Network’s Total Access this week that he was “shocked” that Triplette took time out to review a disputed fumble recovery in Sunday’s Cowboys-Packers game.
“I was shocked that we started to even go to the monitor to review it,” Pereira said.
Pereira acknowledged that it’s a longstanding NFL replay rule that such fumble recoveries aren’t reviewable plays, and that Triplette should have known that. Triplette did, eventually, make the right decision and announce that he couldn’t review the play. But he should have made that announcement immediately, instead of wasting time by initially starting to make a replay review.
In a bonus “Official Review” segment on NFL.com, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen pressed Pereira on another replay issue from the same game, and Pereira acknowledged that Triplette made another mistake in failing to penalize the Packers for challenging a play when they were out of challenges.
“It should have been a flag immediately,” Pereira said of an instance when Packers coach Mike McCarthy threw his red flag after exhausting his challenges. “We compounded this by actually announcing that they were challenging and then going over to the monitor, at which point the replay assistant said, ‘Green Bay has already used both their challenges. They won one and lost one which means they don’t get a third.'”
Pereira tried to spare Triplette by saying, “we,” instead of “Triplette,” but the bottom line is that the referee screwed up.
“We should have thrown the flag right then for unsportsmanlike conduct — it’s a 15-yard penalty,” Pereira said. “We were wrong in not doing that.”