In the first quarter of last Sunday’s game against the Green Bay PackersChicago Bears defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. was fined for unsportsmanlike conduct. On the play in question, the referee threw the flag when he saw Edwards point to Packer quarterback Aaron Rodgers and speak to him in a harsh manner.
Here’s the piece if you need a refresher.
Yes, it was the Green Bay Golden Boy who grabbed Edwards by the face mask after being downed from an incomplete pass. I’m sure Rodgers was unhappy with what he perceived to be a late hit, which was not reported elsewhere, so he figured he was showing his unhappiness by doing something illegal himself.
The referees apparently missed Rodgers pulling Edwards’ face mask, but once the NFL had a chance to review the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, they would surely waive the subsequent fine that is imposed on such flags. .
Bears DL Mario Edwards Jr. was fined $ 9,522 for unsportsmanlike conduct against the Packers.
Packers corner Rasul Douglas was not fined for unnecessary roughness (late hit on Justin Fields).
– Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) 23 October 2021
With such emphasis this season, Edwards should have stood up and brought his case to the official, but in the heat of the moment, saying a few words probably didn’t sound like a big deal to him. It’s not like he pounced on Rodgers after the antagonistic action of removing his face mask. He likley just expressed his displeasure with a nasty word or two.
Last Sunday’s flag was Edwards’ third big penalty in the last two games after being called up for two unnecessary roughness penalties in the Week 5 game against the Raiders, so maybe the league sees Edwards as a repeat offender and tries to send a message.
Or maybe the NFL just won’t admit they missed Rodgers by grabbing Edwards’ face mask, and Edwards saying something to Rodgers wasn’t that bad, so they have to keep up appearances. and fined Edwards.
Even on the FOX replay, analyst Greg Olsen didn’t bother to mention what Rodgers did. Instead, he said, “you find yourself facing the other guy, they’re going to call him.” But not commenting that it was Rodgers who had drawn Edwards in his face in the first place seemed odd.