The Cincinnati Bengals were in the midst of a productive offensive drive in the second quarter of yesterday’s game vs the Detroit Lions, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by tight end Jermaine Gresham cost them 15 yards and eventually led to a missed 47-yard field goal by kicker Mike Nugent.
Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis was so angry with Gresham that he actually banished the starting TE to the locker room to clear his head before he ultimately returned to help Cincinnati pull off an improbable win.
The penalty came as the result of Gresham jawing with Lions defensive end Willie Young before a referee tried to separate them. Gresham pushed away from the ref, and that’s what led to the penalty and potentially a hefty fine for him, according to ESPN’s Cole Harvey:
It is against NFL policy for a player to make contact with referees. If improper bumping or shoving occurs by a player, a $26,250 fine could be levied by the league, according to its fine schedule. A $21,000 fine could be handed down to players who commit some kind of verbal or other type of non-physical offense against an official.
Asked Monday afternoon if the fallout from the incident appeared to be over, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis simply said, “I don’t know. It’s up to the league.”