Houston — The NFL fined Houston’s Andre Johnson and Tennessee’s Cortland Finnegan $25,000 each Monday for their fight in Sunday’s game, but is not suspending them.
The Texans’ star wide receiver and Titans cornerback slugged it out in the fourth quarter of the Texans’ 20-0 victory.
Finnegan set off the brawl by jabbing at Johnson’s neck and face mask at the line of scrimmage. Johnson ripped off Finnegan’s helmet and landed at least two punches to Finnegan’s head and neck. The two spun each other, and Finnegan tore off Johnson’s helmet before players and referees intervened.
“He kept doing little things and I told him: ‘Just because you’re frustrated, you need to stop what you’re doing,’ ” Johnson said Sunday. “I guess he thought it was funny.”
“Did I want it to escalate into that? Absolutely not,” Finnegan said Monday on a Nashville radio show. “The only thing that upsets me … if you reverse that and it’s me, I’m not at the radio show. I’m sulking because I got a game suspension. But you twist it and it’s because it’s me.”
The usually soft-spoken Johnson caught nine passes and a touchdown before being ejected.
“It’s just a buildup of things over plays,” Johnson said. “I just lost my cool.”
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“At a point, he snapped and started throwing blows,” Finnegan said of Johnson.
Finnegan also said he was conscious not to throw punches at the Texans receiver. “You do that and you’re suspended, hands down,” he said Monday.
“At the end of the day, I guess he got his money’s worth,” Finnegan added.
Johnson apologized for his actions after the game.