Dec 7, 2014 10:36 PM

NFL says refs' fist bump OK after Broncos TD

The Associated Press

DENVER (AP) After C.J. Anderson bulled in for his second touchdown of the day, the Broncos celebrated.

So did the refs.

Moments after Anderson's 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter of Denver's 24-17 win over Buffalo on Sunday, line judge John Hussey and umpire Carl Paganelli fist bumped after making what turned out to be the correct call.

Bills safety Aaron Williams wasn't amused. After the game, he linked the video of the officials' reaction to a tweet that said: "No excuse for my performance, but can't win playing 16 vs 11 thought I'd seen it all. ..."

(For the record, there are nine officials for NFL games, which would have made it 20 vs. 11.)

The NFL had no problem with the gesture.

"It was an acknowledgment of good mechanics between the two officials involved in making the call," NFL spokesman Michael Signora said.

Indeed, it was a difficult call because Anderson bulled through the center of the line, making it hard for Hussey, standing on the sideline, to see if the ball had crossed the plane of the goal line before the runner's knee hit the turf. Paganelli's job, from the middle of the field, is to stick his nose into the pile and help the line judge figure it out. Paganelli did that, then gave Hussey the thumbs up, and Hussey signaled touchdown.

Then, the men gave each other a subtle, hip-high fist bump.

A minute later, replay confirmed the call.


AP NFL website: and


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