A fairly boring game between the Raiders and Bengals got a lot more interesting when Oakland defensive lineman Lamarr Houston applied a hard hit to Cincy quarterback Andy Dalton after a false start, sparking a full-blown brouhaha.
Three days later, the man who started the fracas remains upset.
“I thought it was pretty cowardly,” left tackle Andrew Whitworth said, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Those guys know who they are. It doesn’t shock me. You’ve got guys that want to make names for themselves and can’t, and then they get frustrated. It’s their opportunity to do something they feel and be tough, but that ain’t tough. Face-to-face is tough. Most of those guys, they are what they are — they’re cowards. And if they really wanted to have an issue with you, they’d address you. But they obviously don’t.”
Whitworth says he won’t be suspended, but that he expects to be fined. Still, he believes the instigators should get it worse, especially since he has a bruise under his eye and claims that Raiders defensive lineman Tommy Kelly (who was ejected) and Desmond Bryant (who wasn’t) were trying to give Whitworth the Moe Howard treatment.
“If the NFL is going to continue to take the stance that you can’t enter a fight area or you get fined, then they’ve got to hand down severe punishments for guys that take those cheap shots and take punches and eye gouge and do all this stuff at the bottom of piles,” Whitworth said, via Bengals.com. “Because if not, then you’re saying that if a teammate gets jumped by five guys and gets the snot beat out of them and gets severely hurt to where they can’t play the next week, you’re threatening guys to fine them who are trying to help him. They say you even are fined for peacemaking. So they don’t want anybody to enter a fight area, which doesn’t make any sense. I mean, if you can’t protect your own guy, then the guys that are taking cheap shots need to either be suspended, fined heavily or something done for taking those kind of cheap shots.”
Unlike other sports, the NFL does not automatically suspend players who leave the bench area to join a fight. It remains to be seen whether any of the guys who fought will be suspended. That may hinge on what the NFL is able to see when sifting through the available visual evidence.