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No flags thrown during pregame scuffle in Foxboro

Aaron Williams, Malcolm Mitchell

Buffalo Bills safety Aaron Williams (23) and New England Patriots wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (19) have to be separated after they tangled during warm-up’s before an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)


In adopting a rule that triggers the ejection of a player who commits a pair of certain specific types of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls, the NFL emphasized that the rule applies to any potential pregame infractions.

As a result of Sunday’s pregame scuffle between the Bills and Patriots, no flags were thrown and no players were given the first of two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

It’s unclear why no flags were thrown, or whether the officials even witnessed the incident. When players from both teams are on the field, however, it’s not unreasonable to expect that someone in black and white stripes will be paying attention.