Unsurprisingly, Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller and New Orleans Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson have both been fined for their confrontation in Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game.
Miller, who was ejected from the game for going after Gardner-Johnson, received an $8,589 fine for unnecessary roughness. Gardner-Johnson got the larger fine despite not being ejected, getting an even $15,000.
Gardner-Johnson is definitely an agitator, and he probably won’t regret earning this fine. It did get Miller ejected from the game, after all.
As for Miller, the fine may actually be less damaging than the postgame reaction his coach had to his lack of discipline.
Chicago Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller lost his cool in Sunday’s NFC Wild Card game, and he paid the price for it.
Miller got into it with Saints safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson in the third quarter of Sunday’s game, and appeared to strike or punch the safety in the face after a play. That was spotted by officials, and Miller was promptly ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Gardner-Johnson actually got the same reaction — and same consequence — from Bears receiver Denzel Wims earlier in the season. In fact, Miller was even asked about Gardner-Johnson’s trash talking in the leadup to this game.
The Bears have been unable to get much going on offense in this game, and Miller was clearly growing frustrated. Gardner-Johnson’s agitating apparently put him over the edge, and now he’s done for the game.
Richard Sherman was among three players ejected for fighting during a skirmish between the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky rushed on a third down play in the fourth quarter and was hit by Marcell Harris as he was sliding.
The hit on Trubisky led to a skirmish on the sideline. Sherman, Josh Bellamy and Anthony Miller all were involved in a sideline fight and traded slaps. The three were ejected.
The Bears ended up converting a first down to retain possession and continue their drive while leading 14-9 in the fourth.
The 2018 NFL season is coming up on the final quarter stretch and in most cases, nothing is settled. Divisions are close, playoff races are tight, and injuries around the league have really begun to shake things up.
It’s now make-or-break time for players and teams, and as the saying goes, big players make big plays in big games. So who might those big players be? Here’s a look at 10 players who could have a big impact down the stretch.
10. Colt McCoy, QB, Washington Redskins
33 years to the day that Lawrence Taylor broke Joe Theismann’s leg, players watched helplessly as Alex Smith suffered a gruesomely similar injury. His season is now over, and the reigns of the NFC East-leading Redskins have been handed over to Colt McCoy. He played relatively well in a Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans and will now lead the show moving forward, which is a role he hasn’t played in many years. The luxury McCoy brings to the table beyond his starting experience is his intimate familiarity with Washington’s offense and the skill position players surrounding him. And just as Nick Foles did a season ago, perhaps McCoy can channel some backup magic and lead the Redskins to the playoffs.
The 2018 NFL Combine in Indianapolis has officially come and gone, and draft boards have been substantially shaken up due to the overall results. But that doesn’t necessarily mean anything is set in stone. Professional scouts will have one more opportunity to put a watchful eye on NFL Draft prospects.
Already underway, college Pro Days will provide one final opportunity for draft hopefuls to put on a display, improve their stock, and prove to the NFL decision-makers that they have what it takes to succeed at the next level.
Here’s a look at 15 NFL prospects with the most to gain at their respective Pro Days.
15. Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame
At 6-foot-5, 253 pounds and with big hands, Durham Smythe fits the bill of a talented and dominant tight end. Unfortunately, Smythe’s lack of college production (24 catches for 356 yards and five touchdowns total the last two seasons) meant he needed to put up big numbers during athleticism testing at the NFL Combine. That did not happen and, instead, Smythe ranked near the bottom of an otherwise talented tight end class, especially from a receiving standpoint. If Smythe wishes to become a more highly-touted tight end entering the NFL Draft, he’ll need to put up better athletic numbers at Notre Dame’s March 22 Pro Day.
The entire slate of bowl games has been unveiled, and it includes a lot of interesting matchups. Even beyond the College Football Playoff, there are a lot of elite players across the board. Some of them will be playing their final games at their school, while others will hope a strong performance could lay the groundwork for a big 2018 season.
Here are 15 players to watch across the college football bowl game slate in 2017-2018.
Brandon Peters, QB, Michigan
It’s easy to forget just how mediocre Michigan was before Jim Harbaugh took over. He’s made the program nationally relevant again, but some of the fans remain restless as the team has yet to break through and reach the Big Ten Championship during his tenure. That has largely been because Harbaugh has never quite found his program-leading quarterback. Could it be Peters? An injury kept him out of the Ohio State game, but he should be healthy in time to take on South Carolina in the Outback Bowl. A strong performance from the sophomore could set the stage for a breakthrough in 2018.
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Will Darnold go pro? That’s a big question. Some reports have said he may return to school, but with his draft stock high, he could decide to leave. We don’t know, but everything he does affects his draft stock. If he chooses to go pro, he’ll want to go out with a signature win. If he can put up big numbers against an Ohio State team that just barely got shut out of the playoff, it would look great for NFL scouts. That alone should make the Cotton Bowl one to watch.
Every year, college football produces its share of breakout players. These can be guys playing at smaller schools putting up big numbers, players who were in the shadow of elite teammates who have now gone to the NFL or graduated, or even guys who were already pretty well known but have taken an even bigger step forward to put themselves into elite company.
Here’s a look at 12 NCAA players who have really become breakout stars in 2017.
Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson
Bryant served two years as Deshaun Watson’s deputy at Clemson, but nobody could really be sure how he was going to cope with being the starting quarterback for the reigning national champions. So far, he has passed every test with flying colors. Though he has thrown for only two touchdowns in three games, he has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes and has proven to be a threat with his legs, racking up five touchdowns on the ground. He broke out with 342 all-purpose yards and three total touchdowns against Louisville, going toe-to-toe with reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson on the road and coming out the victor.
Darren Andrews, WR, UCLA
It’s a pretty good gig to become one of Josh Rosen’s favorite targets, as Andrews is quickly finding out. The senior had some modest success in his first three seasons at UCLA, but he entered the 2017 season with five career touchdowns to his name. He’s surpassed that tally in 2017 alone. Only one player in the nation has more than Andrews’s 409 receiving yards so far in the season, and none have topped his total of six touchdown receptions. Rosen can feel good about throwing to him.