Bears wide receiver Javon Wims was ejected and may be suspended for sucker-punching Saints cornerback Chauncey Gardner-Johnson during Sunday’s game. At first, the attack appeared completely unprovoked. But it appears that Wims was retaliating for something Gardner-Johnson had done on the previous possession.
On the Bears’ first possession of the second half, Wims and Gardner-Johnson were talking after a play when Gardner-Johnson grabbed Wims’ mouthpiece off his facemask and threw it to the ground. Wims left the game and didn’t return for the rest of the possession.
It was the first play of the Bears’ next possession when Wims retaliated, first grabbing Gardner-Johnson’s mouthpiece and then punching Gardner-Johnson in the helmet twice. So although it appeared unprovoked and approximately 11 minutes had passed, Wims was retaliating at the first opportunity he had to confront Gardner-Johnson.
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Wims also told Bears officials after the incident that Gardner-Johnson had spit on him.
Obviously, Wims’ retaliation was excessive and inappropriate, and he deserved to get ejected. But Gardner-Johnson probably would have been penalized if the officials had seen him grab Wims’ mouthpiece, and he’s likely facing league discipline, too.