Bears cornerback D.J. Moore and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford started a brawl that took several minutes to break up.
But the more than two dozen players involved could face discipline, even if they were trying to serve as peacemakers, according to the NFL’s player policy pertaining to fighting.
“The NFL policy on fighting is very simple: Don’t fight, and if a fight breaks out involving other players, stay away,” according to the league’s policy. “If you are challenged, walk away from the situation and continue playing football. Fights in the NFL are pointless and only lead to penalties, as well as possible fines and disqualification from the game–all of which hurt your team.
“Keep in mind that even if you are not a participant in a fight, you will be fined for unnecessarily entering a fight area. “Peacemaking” won’t be accepted as an excuse for entering the area, nor will coming to the defense or assistance of your fighting teammates. If you are already in the vicinity when someone else gets into a fight, move out immediately.
“If you are not near a fight, don’t get close (this applies whether you are already in the game, entering for the next play, or located in the bench area).
“If you unnecessarily enter a fight area, you will be fined whether your involvement is active or inactive. If your involvement is deemed active, you are subject to a higher fine. Active involvement includes, but is not limited to: creating a risk of injury for officials, players, game personnel, or fans; interfering with a game official; contact with opposing players; abusive language or gestures; and other provocative actions that could aggravate the situation or lead to escalation of the fight.”
I’m not sure how much clearer the policy could be on this. The league usually announces fines stemming from games on Friday. I suspect this may take a few days to sort out.
According to the NFL’s schedule of fines, players will be docked $25,000 for a first fighting offense, and $50,000 for a second. Those who unnecessarily enter the fight area and have “active involvement” are subject to fines of $5,000 the first time and $10,000 the second. And those who unnecessarily enter the fight area but are not actively involved could be fined $2,500 then $7,500.