A familiar face is coming back to Paul Brown Stadium, although it may not necessarily a welcome one for Bengals fans.
The NFL has assigned John Parry to referee the Bengals home opener Sunday against the Broncos.
It was Parry and his crew that worked the Dec. 13 game at PBS in which the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers racked up $145,000 in fines. And then in a curious decision by the league, Parry and his crew got the assignment four weeks later to work the Bengals and Steelers wild-card game.
There were another $83,665 in fines in the playoff game, in addition to several other incidents that still have Bengals fans upset months later, including the Ryan Shazier hit on Giovani Bernard, the Martavis Bryant touchdown (which the league later said should have been an incompletion), ignoring the presence of Pittsburgh coach Joey Porter on the field.
The latter incident led to cornerback Adam Jones bumping an official while going after Porter, which drew a 15-yard penalty that left Pittsburgh kicker Chris Boswell's with a game-winning field goal attempt of 35 yards instead of 50.
Parry has been an NFL official since 2000. Since becoming a head referee in 2007, he has been rewarded with five playoff games, including the highest honor or working Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, when the Giants beat the Patriots.
Parry's return to Cincinnati also comes on the heels of last week's game in Pittsburgh in which some Bengals player and many fans were upset with the Tyler Boyd fumble call, the down-by-contact ruling that negated a Pittsburgh fumble and the close call, the C.J. Uzomah play at the back of the end zone and a number of perceived missed holding calls on the Steelers offensive line.