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Finnegan, Johnson ejected, face suspension for violent on-field brawl

Week 12: Titans at Texans

Rarely do any fistfights in football inflict damage on the combatants. However, Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Texans receiver Andre Johnson found a way around that and had perhaps the most violent tête à tête in the NFL in the color television era.

Undoubtedly the NFL will not provide the video link to it on their site, the only officially sanctioned source for video clips. We will post a link if we find one (or alert us to one in the comments). (Update: I owe the NFL a big apology. Here is the video.)

Both players sacrificed a down to go after each other, then each yanked off each other’s helmet as they pummeled each other in an old-fashioned hockey-style fight. Umpire Garth DeFelice, armed with just a whistle and and a yellow flag, intervened to break up the fracas.

Finnegan is already on notice by the league; in Week 4 that he was notified that he faces possible suspension for any future on-field acts. The level of the battle is likely to have both players suspended anyway, so Finnegan might have an extremely rare multiple-game suspension for an on-field incident. Finnegan and Johnson were ejected from the game after the fourth-quarter incident.

Clete Blakeman was the referee and side judge Greg Meyer is shown giving Johnson the ejection signal immediately after the fight breaks.

The Titans and Texans met in Week 2 of 2009 with an ejection and fines being levied for fighting during that game.

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Ben Austro
Ben Austro is the editor and founder of Football Zebras and the author of So You Think You Know Football?: The Armchair Ref's Guide to the Official Rules (on sale now)

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3 thoughts on “Finnegan, Johnson ejected, face suspension for violent on-field brawl

  1. I’m a die hard Falcons fan, and I have never been more happy to see a fight happen in sports. I’m against fighting for the most part, but Andre should have taken Finnegan’s head off. Finnegan is a pest to the NFL, and if andre gets any sort of fine/suspension, I am personally sending him a check in the mail. The only downside to the fight was that the pathetic little pest is not our for the season. Good job on Andre’s part and hopefully the embarrassment of getting tossed around like a rag doll will stop Finnegan from running his mouth like an immature pathetic highschool girl, and will play the game like its suppose to be played.

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