Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks is facing a fine — and maybe even a suspension — after being ejected Sunday with about two minutes left in the first half.
Hicks was tossed after pushing Mike Carr, the down judge who was trying to separate Hicks and a Buccaneers offensive player after safety Eddie Jackson’s interception.
“[Carr] had the player separated, and the situation was resolved,” referee Jerome Boger told a pool reporter. “And then here the defender comes back to restart or instigate it all over again. . . .
“It was just a deliberate act when he knew the official was there in between.”
Hicks was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct and thrown out.
He faces a fine of $33,425 and possibly a suspension. Last year, Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was suspended one game for leaving the sideline, running on the field and shoving an official.
The NFL will rule on any discipline this week. The Bears have a bye next week before returning to play the Dolphins on Oct. 14.
One of the Bears’ most dominant players, Hicks had his third sack of the season in the 48-10 victory against the Buccaneers. In 35 games with the Bears, Hicks has 18½ sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
“It’s an emotional game,” coach Matt Nagy said. “He knows that you can’t do that. He’s apologetic. That’s the rules. We’ll handle that. Akiem will be fine with it. We’ll talk to him and teach him and learn from it.”
Nagy said he didn’t see the incident in real time.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Nagy said. “I talked to Akiem when he came off the sideline.”
Outside linebacker Leonard Floyd said Hicks — who left before the Bears’ locker room was opened to the media — is a nice guy and the incident wasn’t reflective of his personality.
“Akiem’s a teddy bear, man,” Floyd said. “Don’t let Akiem fool ya. . . . An awesome, great guy — a great teammate.
‘‘Just a bad situation that happened today.”
Hicks remained on the Bears’ bench until officials made him leave the field, as required by league rules, a few plays later.
He threw his jersey and pads to the crowd as he exited.
Boger said officials can’t penalize him for that. The league office will handle any uniform fines, which figure to be the least of Hicks’ concerns.