Referee knocked out in scary on-field mishap

NFL referee Jeff Rice has been knocked out and stretchered from the field after falling and hitting his head hard on the ground.

Rice was slammed into by Patriots linebacker Trevor Reilly during New England's clash with Denver Broncos on Monday.

The referee had his legs violently taken out from underneath him by Reilly, who was himself knocked by a Broncos blocker.

Rice was knocked out on the play. Image: Getty

Rice lay motionless for a number of seconds before coming to and looking very groggy.

Luckily for the ref, he had some of the best care from the NFL doctors before he was carted from the field of play for further medical attention.

Rice was smiling and laughing before being taken from the field.

Rice eventually got to his feet. Image: Getty