Bears wide receiver Anthony Miller will not be suspended for punching Saints cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson in Sunday’s playoff game, sources said.
Rather, his punishment is being processed through the league’s standard discipline process and will likely result in a fine. Players can be fined $35,096 for fighting.
Whether Miller did irreparable harm to his Bears career is another question. The team spent 15 minutes Wednesday watching film clips of Gardner-Johnson, a notorious pest, goading opponents into reacting. The message was: do not engage him.
Miller did. In the third quarter, he hit him once with his right hand after Gardner-Johnson approached to his left after a third-down play.
Miller knew first-hand the problems that could come of it. In Week 8, fellow Bears receiver Javon Wims punched Gardner-Johnson — twice — and was ejected and suspended. Receivers coach Mike Furrey, who had warned his players at the time not to engage with Gardner-Johnson, later said Wims was lucky to still have a job when he came off suspension.
A former second-round pick, Miller just finished a disappointing third season.