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Tomlin fined $100K for ‘interfering with play in progress’



The NFL announced Wednesday that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin will be fined $100,000 for stepping on the field during the Thanksgiving night game against the Ravens.

Vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said on Tuesday that the Steelers should have been assessed a 15-yard penalty as well, which would have been tacked on to the end of the run by Ravens returner Jacoby Jones.

The NFL considers that Tomlin’s actions interfered with the runback, and has not ruled out the possibility of the forfeiture of a draft choice. That determination would come after the Super Bowl, when the final draft order is known. The NFL has not stated if the Steelers franchise will be fined as well.

A poll on Football Zebras had 36% of respondents thinking that a one-game suspension of Tomlin was coming. Twenty percent selected the choice that he would be fined “over $75,000.”

In 2010, Jets trainer Sal Alosi admitted to a deliberate act that tripped and injured a Dolphins opponent. Alosi was fined $25,000 and suspended for the remainder of the year. The Jets franchise was fined the same figure that Tomlin was assessed. Tomlin has refuted claims that his actions were deliberate.

NFL statement

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 for interfering with a play in progress during last Thursday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.  In addition, because the conduct affected a play on the field, a modification or forfeiture of draft choices will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined.

The discipline was issued by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson.

With 6:26 remaining in the third quarter, Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 73 yards to the Pittsburgh 27.  During the return, Tomlin – in violation of Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL Rule Book – was in the restricted white border that surrounds the playing field and stepped foot onto the playing field during the play.

Tomlin’s positioning in the white border during play should have resulted in a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.