Hughes confronted Ellison and other referees in the Hard Rock Stadium tunnel following the Bills' Dec. 2 loss in Miami. Hughes was seen on video shouting, "I'll catch you, trust me. I'll catch you guaranteed." Ellison was placed on administrative leave by the league on Dec. 4 and did not work a game in Week 14. The NFL fined Hughes $53,482, which is about one-seventh of a game check, per Pelissero.
"Roy is back on the field where he should be, and the union will consider filing a grievance objecting to this fine," said Scott Green, executive director of the NFL Referees Association, in a statement.
Ellison is the second official to be disciplined by the NFL this season. The league fired down judge Hugo Cruz in October for performance reasons and not meeting the standard over a sustained period of time. It was the first midseason firing of an official in the Super Bowl era.