Football

NFL calls replay reversal 'judgment' call

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Colts coach Chuck Pagano isn't looking for an apology over Jeff Triplette's latest officiating controversy.

One day after the ref reversed a call on fourth-and-goal, giving the Bengals a touchdown at the end of the first half instead of giving the Colts a stop, Pagano said he was still waiting to hear from the NFL though he knows it won't change a thing.

Triplette made the change after he said the replay showed BenJarvus Green-Ellis was not touched after he stumbled to the ground short of the goal line — even though it appeared Colts nose tackle Josh Chapman tripped up Green-Ellis in the backfield.

Green-Ellis then bounced into the end zone. The Colts wound up losing 42-28 to the Bengals, a game that could have a significant impact on playoff seeding. When asked if the admission of a mistake would make a difference, Pagano responded: "Still 14-0 at half, right? So, no."

After the game, Triplette told a pool reporter that he was only looking to see if Green-Ellis was touched down at the goal line and did not look to see whether Chapman caused the stumble. Chapman then celebrated the fourth-down stop.

Chapman insisted Sunday and again Monday that he got a hand on Green-Ellis' foot, causing him to trip. The running back acknowledged in a postgame interview that he felt his left foot get hit but wasn't sure if he tripped on his own.

The officials initially ruled Green-Ellis hit the ground short of the goal line, but Triplette reversed the call turning what was a 7-0 game with about 1 minute left in the first half into a 14-0 deficit for the Colts.

Indy then scored touchdowns on its first two series of the second half to get within 21-14. Pagano immediately wanted an explanation. "You always ask 'What'd you see?' So we had a conversation," Pagano said, explaining that Triplette "clarified things."

Pagano was unusually short with his answers, likely to avoid the potential of a fine from the league. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email to The Associated Press that it was a "judgment call."

It's not the first time, Triplette has been involved in a controversy. In 2011, he gave the improper recitation of overtime rules during a Chargers-Broncos game. Last week, Triplette's crew had trouble getting the down and distance correct at the end of the Giants' win over Washington last week — something league officials later admitted was a mistake by the officiating crew.

"I guess it's just not a good week for those guys," Green-Ellis said. "I'm just happy that we get one in our favor. Man, we've had so many calls go against us in the opposite direction. So I'm happy to get one and that we got away with that one like that."

AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati contributed to this report.

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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