NFL will review flag throwing with officials

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The Independent Online

The NFL will review the method of throwing penalty flags following the injury to Cleveland's Orlando Brown, who was hit in the eye by a flag and retaliated by shoving referee Jeff Triplette.

The NFL will review the method of throwing penalty flags following the injury to Cleveland's Orlando Brown, who was hit in the eye by a flag and retaliated by shoving referee Jeff Triplette.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday that the instructions given to officials would be part of the standard review that follows any problem on the field.

Brown, a 6-foot-7 (2-meter), 350-pound (158-kilogram) offensive tackle, was struck in the eye by Triplette's flag on an illegal procedure call

Triplette immediately rushed to Brown's side, pulled the flag out from between the facemask and helmet and apologized. Brown staggered to the sideline, then returned to the field and shoved the 6-5, 203-pound Triplette to the ground.

Brown was ejected and escorted from the field by security guards. He was then hospitalized with impaired vision and said a family history of eye problems - his father is blind - had caused him to react the way he did.

Triplette, in his first season as a referee, is a fourth-year NFL official who in his first three seasons was a back judge, the official stationed farthest from the line of scrimmage. As such, he was used to throwing his flag a long way on penalty calls to mark the spot of the infraction.

While emphasizing that Brown's injury was a fluke occurrence, Aiello said the league would re-emphasize to officials that those close to the line of scrimmage, such as the referee, should throw their flags into the air.

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