Players, Ryan got some splainin to do

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (L) and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan interact...

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (L) and New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan interact before their NFL football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Nov. 13, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Bill Lankhof, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:16 PM ET

Sticks and stones will break some wallets in Detroit and Chicago. And names could hurt Rex Ryan.

The NFL is expected to levy fines after Matt Stafford and D.J. Moore blew head gaskets. Evidently the NFL frowns on players actually fighting, even if the venue is appropriately named Soldier Field. “I can imagine some people will have some $20,000 fines,” Lions linebacker Justin Durant told MLive.com.

The trouble started when Stafford was intercepted and in trying to make a tackle, threw Bears’ defensive back D.J. Moore to the ground, only to have Moore get up and run head-first into the Detroit quarterback. That set off a fight, including some players who appeared to leave the sideline.

“There’s going to be some guys getting fined,” said receiver Nate Burleson. “If you go out there and throw some blows, you got to expect that FedEx letter in your locker.”

Sort of football’s version of the Dear John letter.

As for Ryan, he has once again been caught for illegal use of the English language. The Jets coach has apologized for cursing a heckler at halftime of Sunday’s embarrassing 37-6 loss to the Patriots but he could be subject to discipline by the NFL, which confirmed it is investigating.

Ryan’s brief exchange with the fan was caught on video and, as is often the case in the age of social media, it is now on the internet: “Hey, Rex, Belichick is better than you,” the fan screamed to Ryan, who was walking to the locker room tunnel. “Shut the (expletive deleted),” Ryan yells back.

Ryan could be fined by the league and Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement. “Obviously, he let his emotions get the best of him. He knows his behaviour was not acceptable.”

Ryan said he was already livid about the way the half ended when quarterback Mark Sanchez called a timeout with 17 seconds on the play clock instead of letting it wind down to one second. The gaffe proved costly, as the Patriots rallied for a touchdown in the final seconds.

“I was emotional,” Ryan said. “I obviously made a mistake. I ... just popped off. Obviously, I know I represent the National Football League, I know I represent the Jets, and I know it was a mistake. I apologize.

“I’m about as big a competitor as there is and, at that time, I was in no mood to hear anything, but I also understand I have to handle that better. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me.”

This seemed to be a big weekend for big boys behaving badly. Ryan’s counterpart, Bill Belichick, also reportedly used profanity after Sunday night’s game, but it occurred in a private conversation, so the league won’t take action.

The New York Post reported Belichick had his arm around his son, Stephen, when he used a vulgarity regarding the Jets’ defence. Of course, after getting torched for 37 points by Brady & Friends, it probably wasn’t anything the Jets weren’t already thinking themselves.

JUST RIBBING?

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has two broken ribs but several Giants’ players expect he’ll play Sunday.

“I know Michael is a tough guy,” defensive end Justin Tuck said on his weekly radio show. “He takes a lot of hits and he always finds a way to be out there on Sunday. It is a big game for them, I would go so far to say a do-or-die game. So I definitely expect to see him.”

Perhaps there is some wishful thinking here on Tuck’s part. The Giants held Vick to 16-for-23 passing for 176 yards and one interception in their previous game. They also sacked him twice and left him with an injured hand.

BREAKING NEWS

Another day; another quarterback bites the dust.

Ben Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh reporters Tuesday that he broke his right thumb against the Bengals, but he said he will start against the Chiefs after the team’s bye week.

He also wasn’t certain how the injury happened and he never missed a snap, passing for 245 yards.

“It hurt, but (Steelers head trainer) John Norwig did a great job taping it up, making a quick splint out of tape and going with it,” Roethlisberger said. “Squeezing the ball is the hardest part.”

Roethlisberger suffered a similar injury in 2005, and still led the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl.

“I won’t have to throw for a week or so, (until) next Wednesday or whenever we practise next week,” Roethlisberger said. “So, that’ll be a good time for it to rest. For me, it’ll just be getting used to throwing with a splint on again and a glove on, which I’ve done before.”

QUICK HITS:

49ers quarterback Alex Smith bristled at being called a “game manager.” But, hey, it’s better than a lot of things he has been called. Like a has-been, a never-was or the north end of a south-bound mule. And, those were just the polite references ... Calvin Johnson passed a concussion test and will play Sunday against Carolina ... Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt isn’t saying who his No. 1 quarterback is but, for this weekend, his starting quarterback is John Skelton. “There’s really nothing to discuss right now,” Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic. “Kevin (Kolb) hasn’t practised in two weeks. We can’t even really assess where he is.” Where Kolb is, is on shaky ground ... Tyler Palko gets the start for the Chiefs at quarterback on Monday Night Football. Don’t worry. We never heard of him either. And if the Chiefs offensive line doesn’t protect him any better than they did Matt Cassel, nobody will hear of him again once the Patriots get finished with him.

 


Videos

Photos