DAVIE—There was widespread confusion in the Dolphins’ season finale against the Bills when a hullabaloo broke out following Jarvis Landry’s touchdown catch with 6:16 remaining.
It got so convoluted that referee Jeff Triplette at one point announced ejections of Buffalo’s Richie Incognito and Miami’s Jake Brendel despite neither of them even being on the field at that time.
In the end, Landry and running back Kenyan Drake were the only players thrown out. Drake’s was obvious after he threw a Bills helmet 20 yards, but Landry’s was murkier.
Triplette announced an unnecessary roughness penalty for Landry headbutting and hitting Buffalo safety Jordan Poyer, then added something about disrespecting the official. Triplette was not available after the game to clarify which penalty merited the ejection, or whether Landry committed two offenses that warranted an ejection.
It turns out it was verbal abuse of a referee that actually got Landry thrown out of the game, a source said. While it is possible to be tossed for an unnecessary roughness violation if it’s egregious, in this case Landry would’ve remained in the game if he had restrained himself after going at Poyer.
Afterward, he maintained he’d done nothing wrong and believed he’d been ejected because of the incident with Poyer.
“He said I was ejected, and I just walked to the locker room,” Landry said.
At likely the exact time Landry was giving that version of what took place, Miami coach Adam Gase was asked about it in the post-game press conference room and said, “I know what he did, but it’s not something that I want to say right now.”
The good news for Landry—and Drake, though this was far less of a question for him—is that he’s unlikely to be suspended, which would have kept him out of the 2018 season opener. If an offense merits a suspension, the NFL typically announces that the next day. As of late this afternoon, nothing had come up on that front.
Landry’s actions did carry a cost, however, regardless of whether the league fines him later this week. He came up 13 yards shy of his third straight 1,000-yard season, and the Dolphins had two more possessions after his ejection.
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