NFL Notebook: Players are fined for on-field brawl
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Houston's Andre Johnson and Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan each were fined $25,000 but avoided suspensions by the NFL on Monday, the day after slugging it out in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 20-0 victory against the Titans.
Finnegan said he plans to appeal the fine. "He snapped. He started throwing blows," Finnegan said of Johnson. Finnegan set off the brawl by jabbing at Johnson's neck and face mask at the line of scrimmage.
Johnson ripped off Finnegan's helmet and landed at least two punches to Finnegan's head and neck. The two spun each other, and Finnegan tore off Johnson's helmet before players and referees intervened.
"What happened out there [today] was not me. I just lost my cool and I wish that I could take back what happened, but I can't. It's over and done with now," Johnson said.
The Texans (5-6) play Thursday at Philadelphia and were concerned that their Pro Bowl receiver may be suspended.
"I guess he got his money's worth," Finnegan said.
The Titans cornerback said he thought the play ended once his helmet came off, and if he had punched Johnson, the NFL likely would have suspended him.
"This is the NFL, not the NHL, and it's a higher standard. That's the NHL. They fight. They get penalized for that. The NFL, it's not even heard of ... you do that, you're suspended, hands down. That's what I've been taught," Finnegan said.
The NFL is looking into a verbal confrontation between Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib and an official who worked the Buccaneers' game against the Ravens. Buccaneers coach Raheem Morris defended the player, saying Talib did not do anything wrong during a heated exchange outside the team's locker room after Sunday's 17-10 loss in Baltimore.
Talib reportedly made an expletive-laced comment to an official about the call made by field judge Boris Cheek. The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times said the official responded by using an expletive of his own to describe how Talib played and that the player then threatened to punch him.
Running back Mike Tolbert said Vincent Jackson got hurt in practice last week and that there's no way the wide receiver would fake an injury in his first game back after a contract dispute. Jackson started Sunday at Indianapolis but limped off the field after two plays with a strained right calf, raising speculation due to his clash earlier this year with the front office. Jackson's agent, Neil Schwartz, says it's "totally absurd" that Jackson would fake an injury.
Tony Romo was back on the practice field throwing passes. They were only soft tosses during warm-ups, but it shows progress and his desire to return. "The mindset we have as an organization is to get him as healthy as we can as quickly as we can," interim coach Jason Garrett said. "He has his mindset to come back as quickly as he can."
The death of a 23-year-old fan who fell from a Soldier Field concourse during halftime of Sunday's game between Chicago and Philadelphia appears to have been accidental, a stadium official said. Witnesses and friends gave differing accounts about the moments before the man, identified as 23-year-old Stuart Haverty, cleared a 3-foot railing and fell more than 35 feet onto the roof of a storage building.
Haverty was declared dead shortly after being taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. "It's a tragic, unfortunate accident," Soldier Field spokesman Luca Serra said.
First Published November 30, 2010 12:00 am