Longtime NFL referee Jeff Triplette to retire

Posted: Updated:
ESPN via AP ESPN via AP
(ESPN) -

Longtime NFL referee Jeff Triplette is retiring, a source confirmed Sunday morning.

The news comes one day after Triplette's eventful performance in the Tennessee Titans22-21 wild-card playoff victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. Triplette's decision is not believed to have been a direct result of that game, but he was not immediately available for comment to explain his reasons.

The NFL declined to comment, but news of Triplette's retirement was first reported by NFL Network.

Triplette joined the NFL in 1996 and was promoted to referee in 1999. His career has included a number of high-profile incidents, most notably when he inadvertently hit Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Orlando Brown in the eye with a penalty flag during a game in 1999, temporarily blinding him.

Overall, however, Triplette's performance was good enough in the eyes of NFL administrators to spur a two-decade career as a referee. The league grades officials on every play of every game, and consistently low grades over a three-year period are supposed to lead to dismissal.

Saturday night, Triplette blew his whistle early on what appeared to be a fumble by Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, negating what would have been a Chiefs recovery. The Titans kicked a 49-yard field goal on the next play. Triplette also used incorrect details to explain an accurate decision to award Mariota a touchdown a tipped pass.

Finally, Triplette's crew awarded Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson a touchdown on a fumble return in the fourth quarter. Replay showed that Titans running back Derrick Henry was down by contact before the fumble, and the call was reversed upon review.

  • Most Popular Stories

    • Closings & Delays

      The latest list of school and weather-related closings and delays.

    • Wichita police captain on leave after incident at Augusta basketball game

      Wichita police say a captain with the department is on paid administrative leave after he allegedly pushed a teenage referee at a basketball game.

    • Even the eyelashes freeze: Russia sees minus 88.6 degrees F

      Authorities in the Russian region of Yakutia where temperatures have dropped to record lows are not reporting any disruptions of heating or crucial supplies.
    • Couple carjacked outside Wichita bar

      Officers were called at around 1 a.m. Tuesday to a carjacking at The Stop bar at 1450 South Woodlawn, near Harry.

    • Police: Man held woman at gunpoint, forced her to drive him around

      Wichita police are searching for a man who reportedly kidnapped a woman and forced her to drive to several different places Monday evening.

    • Suspect sought in Wichita armed robbery

      Wichita Police have released photos of a man who robbed a convenience store and injured an employee. 

    • Wichita man is hospitalized for severe frostbite

      Eddie Chronister’s hands are bandaged tightly and they're slowly healing after a severe cast of frostbite He said, "at first they were like we don't even know if you are going to be able to keep your hands because they were that bad. God is good, I get to keep my hands." Chronister, who lives on the streets, says on New Year’s Eve he had little too much to drink and fell asleep and later woke up in a hospital bed. Photos he posted to his Facebook show just h...

    • Wichita building fire caused more than $2 million in damage

      The fire was caused by compressed natural gas from a semi that came into contact with a heater. It caused $1.5 million in damage to the building and $750,000 to its contents.

    • California couple's ordinary home held torture chamber

      A 17-year-old girl called police after escaping from her family's home where she and her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions, some so malnourished officers at first believed all were...
    • Report of teen held at knifepoint was hoax, Wichita police say

      A false call about a woman being held a knifepoint led Wichita police to a home on the city's southeast side Monday morning.