The Sunday afternoon matchup between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints unfortunately included some non-regulation tackles.
In the third quarter of the then-tied game, Bears wide receiver Javon Wims threw two punches at Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson, which immediately sparked a scrum between the two teams (a replay of the incident can be seen here). Saints player Janoris Jenkins tackled Wims to break up the fight, while Gardner-Johnson seemed unphased by the punches.
According to ESPN, Wims, 26, alleged to an NFL official that Gardner-Johnson spit on him, leading to the altercation. Gardner-Johnson later denied the accusation, though cameras did catch him ripping out Wims' mouthpiece earlier in the game.
"It ain't got nothing to do with me. If he's acting out, that's on him," Gardner-Johnson, 22, said. "It wasn't no incident. We won the game. I mean, everybody, it's a lot of he said, he said. Ain't nothing happened. Nobody got spit on."
"Shouldn't be nowhere near the field of play when the game's going on," he added of Wims. "So I ain't answering no more questions about that."
After the brawl, Wims was immediately taken out of the game, and the Bears went on to lose 26-23 in overtime.
"I did not see it. I totally missed it," Bears head coach Matt Nagy said after the game, according to CBS Sports. "I was looking down when I heard about it. But what I did hear is what it looked like, which is completely unacceptable. We've talked to him and told him that that's not how things go here."
"There's no part of that in this game. Again, I still haven't seen it, but from what I heard, it's not good," he added. "That's not how we roll here, and we'll be talking to him."
Sunday marked Chicago's second loss in a row after they fell to the Los Angeles Rams last week.
"I felt like it kind of — it took the sting out, the fire for a little bit," Nagy told reporters. "We had to regroup the defense at least in that situation with the field position, was able to hold them and not let them score touchdowns, but we had to regroup offensively on the sideline and just let these guys know, like let's go, get on track and get out of that. That's kind of where we were with that."
The Bears are now 5-3 on the season, while the Saints sit on a 5-2 record.
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