Given the rules in other sports, news that players have left the bench area to join a fight creates a sense that those players will be facing automatic suspensions.
In the NFL, that’s not how it works.
“It’s not automatic,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email on Sunday night regarding the question of whether, for example, Raiders defensive lineman Tommy Kelly will receive a suspension for joining the fray. “Specific facts and circumstances are evaluated case by case.”
That evaluation undoubtedly will begin today, as the NFL looks at the various camera angles and tries to decide who should be fined or suspended.
The problem began when Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston hit Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton following a false start. Cincinnati tackle Andrew Whitworth took exception, and it went downhill from there. The incident came on the first play after an inadvertent whistle wiped out a turnover by the Bengals.