GREEN BAY – Sean Payton thought Charles Woodson should have been ejected. Woodson didn’t exactly disagree.
With 5 minutes left in the third quarter of the Green Bay Packers’ 42-34 victory over the New Orleans Saints Thursday night, the Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl cornerback and Saints tight end David Thomas were engaged on a 5-yard Pierre Thomas run.
At the end of the play, Woodson felt David Thomas held onto him a little too long and decided to do something about it, hauling off with a punch to Thomas’ midsection.
While it drew a 15-yard personal foul penalty, Woodson wasn’t ejected, much to the chagrin of Payton, the Saints’ coach.
“I’m sure he did (want an ejection),” Woodson said. “(But) I know the referees saw what was going on. I’m sure that probably swayed their decision not to eject me. I understand it’s something I can’t do. I have to move on from it.”
Contrary to what NBC announcer Cris Collinsworth said during the broadcast, though, Woodson’s punch was not cause for automatic ejection.
ESPN.com NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert looked it up in the NFL rule book, which reads:
Note: It is not necessary for a player to pull the runner completely to the ground in order for the act to be illegal. If his knees are buckled by the action, it is a foul, even if the runner is not pulled completely to the ground.
Penalty: For fouls in a, b, c, and d: Loss of 15 yards. If any of the above acts is judged by the official(s) to be flagrant, the offender may be disqualified as long as the entire action is observed by the official(s).
Woodson admitted that he was in the wrong – and said he knows a fine is headed his way.
“Yeah, I threw a punch. Just got frustrated. The guy was holding me a little longer than I wanted,” Woodson said. And the fine? “I know it’s coming.”
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