NFL fines fighting players

NEW YORK — Houston's Andre Johnson and Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan each were fined $25,000 but avoided suspensions by the NFL on Monday, the day after slugging it out in the fourth quarter of the Texans' 20-0 victory.

Finnegan said he plans to appeal the fine. Johnson was scheduled to be available after a practice Monday evening.

"He snapped. He started throwing blows," Finnegan said of Johnson.

Finnegan set off the brawl by jabbing at Johnson's neck and face mask at the line of scrimmage. Johnson ripped off Finnegan's helmet and landed at least two punches to Finnegan's head and neck. The two spun each other, and Finnegan tore off Johnson's helmet before players and referees intervened.

Johnson apologized after the game, and Finnegan has not spoken about the incident.

"I would like to apologize to the organization, our owner, and my teammates," Johnson said. "What happened out there today was not me. I just lost my cool and I wish that I could take back what happened, but I can't. It's over and done with now."

This is the second time they scuffled. Last season, Johnson was fined $7,500 for taking Finnegan to the ground by the face mask.

The Texans (5-6) play at Philadelphia on Thursday, and were concerned that their Pro Bowl receiver may be suspended.

The Titans (5-6) host Jacksonville on Sunday.

"I guess he got his money's worth," Finnegan said of Johnson during his weekly radio show Monday night. He also apologized for the way he left the field.

The cornerback said Johnson said some things to him in the fourth quarter, so he decided to "quick jam" the receiver at the line. Finnegan said he thought the play ended once his helmet came off, and if he had punched Johnson, the NFL likely would have suspended him.


Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen says embattled coach Josh McDaniels' job is safe.

Yet, after telling AOL FanHouse that McDaniels would be back in 2011, Bowlen issued a statement Monday night that seemed to back off that a bit.

Bowlen's statement said that while the season has been a trying and disappointing one, "Josh McDaniels is the head coach of the Broncos, and you always strive for stability at that position."

He added that with five games left, "we will continue to monitor the progress of the team and evaluate what's in the best interest of this franchise."

Earlier, Bowlen told AOL, "I'm not interested in making a coaching change," despite the team's 5-16 slide and the embarrassing videotaping scandal.

At his weekly news conference earlier in the day, McDaniels said he wasn't dwelling on whether the Broncos' problems on and off the field would cost him his job.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Vince Young is getting his right thumb repaired the Titans quarterback has announced on Twitter.

Young was placed on injured reserve last week, two days after tearing the flexor tendon in the thumb of his throwing hand. He tweeted Monday afternoon that he was about to have surgery and asked for prayers. He also thanked followers for love and support.

Asked about the surgery, Titans coach Jeff Fisher says his understanding is that Young was having the procedure. Fisher says the Titans were told the surgery was season-ending, so he assumes that means five-to-eight weeks of recovery. The thumb must be immobilized with the tendon reattached with pins.


Since breaking his left collarbone, Tony Romo has done all the prescribed rehabilitation work and kept the rest of his body in shape. He goes to all meetings and watches games from the sideline.

And Monday, five weeks after he was hurt, Romo was back on the Dallas Cowboys practice field throwing passes. They were only soft tosses during warm-ups, but it shows progress and his desire to return.

"The mindset we have as an organization is to get him as healthy as we can as quickly as we can," interim coach Jason Garrett said. "He has his mindset to come back as quickly as he can."

Romo broke his left collarbone on Oct. 25. The target date for a return has been the second-to-last game, Dec. 25 at Arizona. Based on that, he would miss three more games: at Indianapolis on Sunday, then home games against Philadelphia and Washington.


The NFL has rejected Steelers linebacker James Harrison's appeals of his $75,000 fine for a hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and $20,000 fine for slamming helmet-first into Saints quarterback Drew Brees' back.

Harrison, a three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, learned Monday the league turned down his appeals. The NFL also did not reduce the fines.

Harrison met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell following the tackle on Massaquoi, one of two Harrison delivered Oct. 17 that caused concussions to Browns players. The Massaquoi helmet-to-helmet hit helped spur the league's stricter enforcement of dangerous hits.

Share This Story