The NFL has reportedly sent a stern warning to teams about players involved in fights before or during games.
ESPN obtained a memo on Sunday from the league to all 32 teams, which stated fighting “is irreconcilable” and “never acceptable.”
“These actions send an inappropriate and unacceptable message to players, coaches and fans at all other levels of the game.”
If fights occur, the NFL is threatening significant punishment, which goes beyond an ejection from the game. Suspensions and/or a “significant fine” could be handed out.
Also, any team with players or personnel involved in a fight could possibly forfeit a draft pick and/or be fined.
This also goes for players or personnel who join an ongoing fight, saying they could be “subject to more significant accountability measures.”
We saw multiple fights before last week’s games between the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers.
The league’s football operations staff will be monitoring pre-game warmups to ensure that the rule where teams must stay inside their own 45-yard lines is enforced.
“The game day policies are clear on this point,” the memo adds, per ESPN. “They were reviewed with the membership at the Fall meeting and there should be no ambiguity or misunderstanding.”
There was also close to an in-game fight between the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants, where quarterback Josh Allen even tried to get involved in a large pushing-and-shoving match that resulted in multiple unnecessary roughness penalties.
While the NFL didn’t discipline anyone in any fight last week, this memo warns that discipline should be handed out in the coming weeks if something were to go down.