As Panthers running back Armond Smith was getting up after Ravens linebacker Albert McClellan tackled him in last week’s preseason game, Smith gave McClellan a quick kick to the groin. Yes, that’s the kind of thing that draws a fine.
So it’s no surprise that the NFL fined Smith $15,000 for the cheap shot, which also got Smith kicked out of the game.
Smith described himself as “apologetic” and ready to move on. McClellan said he wasn’t sure why Smith took a shot at him.
“I think he thought I was holding him down. Our legs got tangled up. He hopped up and kicked me. I did my best to keep my cool,” McClellan said.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Smith is a good guy.
“Armond is such a good, solid, young person for something like this to happen,” Rivera said. “He told me, ‘Coach, he twisted on me.’ And that’s unfortunate because that’s not the type of character that he is. He’s disappointed, and he’s very apologetic. And I know the league will have something to say about it. But just knowing who Armond is, that’s a tough one for him to swallow because that’s not his character. And that was most certainly out of his character.”
Whatever Smith’s character is most of the time, a kick to the groin is about as cheap as a cheap shot gets. He’s lucky he wasn’t suspended.