Cortland Finnegan, Andre Johnson fight in Titans-Texans game
It was a fight more typical of a hockey game than an NFL game.
And, when it was over, Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan were ejected from the game, which Houston won. Finnegan and Johnson had been pushing each other and exchanging pleasantries throughout the game and, in the fourth quarter, Finnegan hit Johnson in the mouth as they went to the line of scrimmage. Finnegan's helmet came off, Johnson threw him to the ground and managed to land a couple of blows to Finnegan's head.
Johnson apologized to his teammates afterward, according to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, saying, "I should have kept my cool."
"They're just very competitive, I mean, two Pro Bowl players that expect a lot out of each other," Texans Coach Gary Kubiak said, "and before the day is over they get kind of tired of each other. I just think it's a great battle. That's what our business is about. You know, you don't want things to get out of control like that, though. Two great players that need to be on the field, not off the field."
Like Kubiak, Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher downplayed the incident.
"I didn't think, based on what I saw and what I'm being told, that Cortland deserved to be kicked out of the game," he said. "I'm sure they'll handle that at the league level." Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison cited Tennessee's penchant for provoking opponents on "Football Night in America."
"He's one of the nicest guys in the league," Dungy said of Johnson, "but I'll tell you when I was at Indy, we played against Tennessee twice a year. I always warned my players, 'You have to keep your cool, especially against Cortland Finnegan. He's going to try to get on your nerves.' "
Harrison, who suffered a knee injury playing against Tennessee: "Well, coach, this is no surprise to me. This team ... this is their personality. They're dirty, they're cheap and whenever we played this team, the coaches would always say, 'Guys, beware. They're gonna take a cheap shot at you. They're gonna try to provoke you into doing something.' "
| November 28, 2010; 5:16 PM ET
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