Johnson-Finnegan fracas unlikely to result in suspensions

Mon 11/29 @ 5:34 pm – Both Johnson and Finnegan have avoided suspension from the commissioner’s office, receiving matching $25,000 fines instead.

2:35 pm – At least one of the combatants from yesterday’s boxing match in Houston will escape relatively unscathed from the NFL’s wrath. According to Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports in Houston, no suspension is forthcoming for Johnson, but a fine for his role in the fight is expected to be levied. No word yet on the fate of Finnegan, who was clearly the instigator of the incident.

One factor that may have helped Johnson’s cause is the report that Finnegan told the Texans bench to “watch this” before the fisticuffs ensued. That would indicate a measure of pre-meditation on the part of Finnegan, and it’s likely that the league will come down harder on him as a result.

We’ll update this story as it progresses this afternoon.

Sun 11/28 @ 9:15 pm - It’s not often that Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson loses his cool on the field, but today was one occasion in which he did just that, getting into a knock down, drag out fight with Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan that sent both players to the showers early.

Finnegan is known throughout the league for getting under his opponent’s skin any way he can, and he has a history of bringing out angry outbursts from Johnson.

Today’s spate of trash talking definitely took things to a new level though, as Johnson and Finnegan tangled up on what seemed to be a routine play, with both players ripping each other’s helmets off and Johnson landing several clean punches.

If the only thing that comes of the fight is a significant fine, both players will likely breathe a sigh of relief, as things escalated enough that a suspension could be in the works for one player or the other early next week.

That said, it’s difficult to imagine both Johnson and Finnegan being suspended as their scuffle did not involve any teammates, and a heavy fine on both will be enough of a message to the rest of the league that such behavior will not be tolerated.

Either way, the league will be quick to deliver their punishment this week, as the Texans need to know where Johnson stands headed into their Thursday night showdown against Philadelphia.

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  • Patrickulating

    ‘”as they both were forced to miss the majority of the game as it is”???????

    7 minutes to go in the game is not the “majority of the game.”

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  • Japerry

    ya like patrictulating said.. you lost me there.

  • Chris Kolb

    Thanks to both of you guys for correcting my mistake. The fact that they were ejected probably won’t have all that much bearing on the league’s decision to suspend them or not… I was going off what I was told by multiple sources, and it seems as though I made the mistake of not checking things out completely before I published it. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • David Stewart

    Why write an article making claims about an event you don’t seem to know anything about?

  • Chris Kolb

    What makes you think I don’t know anything about it? I watched the play multiple times, spoke with several people in the know when it comes to the possible punishment, and wrote an article about it. I made a mistake in going with what I was told with regards to how much the ejection will factor into their punishment without checking it out first and I corrected it. Not sure what else you’d like me to do.

    The bottom line is that out of the two players involved, Finnegan is more likely to receive a suspension, as he’s had past issues on the field that will count against him. Johnson is one of the league’s best players and is well respected… primetime football on Thursday almost guarantees he’ll be playing.

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  • Guestman

    ‘Unlikely to get a suspension?’ You spoke with ‘people in the know?’ That’s funny. Everybody actually ‘in the know’ is talking suspension.

  • Poop

    It didn’t start as a routine play. Finnigan jammed Johnson’s facemask into his face off the line. You should be a fan before you’re a “journalist.

  • Chris Kolb

    Okay… perhaps that’s what you’re hearing. My stance on things remains the same. A suspension for Finnegan is possible, perhaps even likely, but I’d be surprised if the league sits Johnson, even though he landed multiple punches. Finnegan instigated things all day long and has a history with the league for infractions. That’s why I think that he’s likely to draw a suspension… Johnson is one the league’s most well respected players and he’s a huge draw for primetime football on Thursday night. The league isn’t stupid… suspend him and they run the risk of Thursday night’s game being boring….

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Chris Kolb

    First of all… I’ve never claimed to be a “journalist”… I leave that to the boys at ESPN and the like. I merely post what I hear and occassionally throw in a bit of analysis/opinion depending on the story. I am a lifelong fan of the game and understand how things work better than most, although I try pretty hard to stay objective in everything I write here.

    What I meant by routine play was that it was a simple run to the right side of the field, away from Johnson/Finnegan. In no way did I mean that what Finnegan did off the snap was routine. It was ridiculous. He deserved the beatdown he got.

  • ifonleuknew

    I am a Houstonian as well as a Texan fan, however, class is class. They both should be suspended. Looked to me like the play prior to the fight Johnson was gettin the best of Fennigan. I dont wanna watch a football game and all I gonna see is competitive fighting. I will watch boxing for that.
    What kinda of message does it send to other players in the NFL that decide that they have had just about enough from the man on the otherside of the line? I think the NBA has went to the extreme with their attempt to stop its players from reaction but it seems to be working.
    The NFL should fine and suspend them both. I hate it for Johnson but he knows who was on the other side from him and should have handled things differently. Fennigan, being the type of player that he is will somehow, someway get whats coming to him. When you aint that good, you tend to do things that strike attention and thats what Fennigan did.
    Fine and suspension for both.
    My thoughts.

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