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Not even referees are safe from the NFL’s injury epidemic this year

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This looked scary, but hopefully he’s OK.

Umpire Jeff Rice was carted off the field during Patriots vs. Broncos. He took an accidental hit from Patriots outside linebacker Trevor Reilly, and it initially looked serious.

Rice stayed on the ground and looked disoriented after the hit. Reilly was thrown into Rice by a Broncos player. He took Rice’s legs out from under him, and Rice hit the ground hard. His head bounced off the ground.

They brought the cart out for Rice and took him from the field. Reilly came over to check on him, according to the Boston Globe’s Nora Princiotti. Before Rice left the field, he was smiling, talking, and laughing.

That’s hopefully a good sign.

The game will continue with just six referees.