NFL fines Finnegan and Johnson $25,000 for on-field fight
It was an expensive few punches to throw, but that was all as Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson only received fines and no suspensions after a brief fight on the field on the weekend. Both players were fined $25,000 by the NFL on Nov. 29th for their fight during the last quarter of Houston’s 20-0 win on Nov. 28th.
However, Finnegan still wasn’t happy with the outcome and said he’s planning to appeal the fine. Finnegan added that Johnson snapped and started throwing punches at him. But Finnegan seemed to start the fight as he jabbed at Johnson’s face mask and neck on the line of scrimmage. Then Johnson reacted by ripping the helmet off of Finnegan’s head and landed a couple of blows to his neck and head. The players spun around and Finnegan ripped Johnson’s helmet off before referees and players stepped in to stop it.
Johnson said that Finnegan was acting physical towards him throughout the contest and the Houston Chronicle newspaper reported that Finnegan yelled “Watch this.” To the players’ bench before the altercation took place.
After the game, Johnson apologized to the club, its owner, and his teammates by saying he just lost it at the spur of the moment and he wished he could take it back, but it’s over and done with. However, the two players have a bit of a history as they also got involve in an incident last season and Johnson received a $7,500 for pulling Finnegan down to the field by his face mask.
Both teams were afraid their players may be suspended for their actions, but those fears were unfounded. Finnegan said that Johnson was trash talking him in the fourth quarter and he decided he would “quick jam” him at the line. He added that he thought the play had ended when his helmet came off and that if he punched Johnson the league would probably have suspended him.
Finnegan also said it’s not the NHL it’s the NFL, which is a higher standard. He said hockey players fight and are penalized, but it’s not allowed in the NFL and if you fight you should be suspended for it. Defensive end Dave Ball of the Titans said he didn’t think it was fair that both players received the same punishment because Johnson should have been suspended and it’s ridiculous that he wasn’t. He added that the NFL’s message is that it’s okay to criminally assault a player on the football field when he doesn’t have his helmet on.
But Finnegan is no angel as he was fined by the NFL for committing personal fouls during three straight contests earlier in the season and the league told him to watch what he does after the whistle.