According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins Sr. will not face a suspension after being ejected from Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears after unnecessary contact with an official.
After a second quarter play, Collins was demonstrating a “lowering of the head” move that Bears running back David Montgomery had done on the previous rushing play—an illegal act. However, during the demonstration, Collins’ helmet came into contact with official Alex Kemp. The referee immediately threw the flag, and, subsequently threw Collins out of the game.
“Players are allowed to touch officials, put a hand on your shoulder, or something of that nature,” Kemp explained after the game. “But unnecessary contact with a game official — it’s Rule 12-3-1-E. That covers unnecessary contact to a game official. So, that’s what I went with.”
The rulebook specifically states that, “Under no circumstance is a player allowed to shove, push, or strike an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner” and that such action will immediately require an ejection from the game.
The grey area here is whether Collins’ contact was “offensive, disrespectful or unsportsmanlike.” In the moment, it’s easy to understand why Kemp may have felt it was unsportsmanlike, but seeing how minor the contact is in hindsight, it’s clear no extra discipline was necessary for Collins.