Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was suspended for one game without pay for his role in Sunday's brawl with the Buffalo Bills, the NFL announced Monday night.
Fournette and Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson were ejected.
In a statement, the NFL said Fournette violated Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct, including using abusive, threatening or insulting gestures to opponents and using baiting or taunting acts that may engender ill will between teams; Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12, which prohibits striking an opponent; and Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(a), which prohibits throwing a punch at an opponent, even if no contact is made.
"Sportsmanship is the cornerstone of the game and the League will not tolerate game-related misconduct that conveys a lack of respect for the game itself and those involved in it," NFL vice president of operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Fournette. "Video of the incident shows that you were not a participant in the play and that you ran from your sideline to the opposite side of the field to insert yourself as an active participant in a fight. Once you entered the fight area, you struck a member of the opposing team. Your actions adversely reflected on the NFL and have no place in the game.”
Barring an appeal, Fournettte will miss Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Bills coach Sean McDermott said Monday he had not heard from the league regarding potential discipline for Lawson.
"Sometimes things happen when guys are going against each other, and it got competitive out there," McDermott said. "I never want to see one of our guys or their guys thrown out. That’s not the way the game is designed to be played. That said, as I mentioned, things were going fast, and at the end of the day, I thought Shaq was defending himself. Punches were being thrown, and so number one, we have to display discipline. But number two, I expect our team to stand up for one another."
Story topics: Leonard Fournette