If it isn’t spit, you must acquit. Or something.
The NFL did not fine Ravens offensive lineman Marshal Yanda for spitting on, or at, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Bufict last Sunday, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com.
Video of a skirmish that erupted in the fourth quarter of the Bengals-Ravens game created the potential impression that Yanda produced a glob of spit, knocked it away from his facemask, and caused it to drop in the direction of Burfict, who was on the ground at the time.
“The video, some people are taking it crazy, but all I was doing was wiping the spit off my helmet, away from the ground,” Yanda said on Wednesday. “I swiped at it to make sure that it didn’t land on anybody. I don’t know if you guys know, during the course of a game, I’m like a heavy spitter. The adrenaline is fired up, and I’m spitting all the time — sidelines, on the field, but not on anyone ever.”
The NFL agreed, or at least the league concluded that the video evidence was inconclusive. Regardless, given Yanda’s propensity for producing spittle, he probably should have completely turned away from the fray when knocking the saliva string to the ground, to remove any doubt as to whether he intended for the spit to hit Burfict or anyone else.