NFL referee drops profanity after leaving mic on during timeout

— -- NFL referee Pete Morelli broadcast a profanity at Gillette Stadium during Sunday's game between the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots, a mistake that will draw scrutiny from the image-conscious NFL office.

While speaking to another official during a third-quarter timeout, Morelli left his stadium microphone on.

Those at the stadium could hear Morelli say: "Turned into a pretty good game. But one big hit, this s--- could explode."

It was not heard on the television broadcast because the game was in a timeout.

In 2013, the league suspended umpire Roy Ellison for a profane and derogatory comment made to Washington Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams. Morelli's incident was not part of a confrontation, but the NFL has the authority to issue discipline toward Morelli if desired.

Morelli is in his 20th year as an NFL official.