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Bill Belichick: Colts WR T.Y. Hilton should have been ejected for pushing referee

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  • Indianapolis Colts
    Indianapolis Colts
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Bill Belichick
    Bill Belichick
    American football coach
  • T.Y. Hilton
    T.Y. Hilton
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|

INDIANAPOLIS — New England coach Bill Belichick responded to a question about the Kyle Dugger-Michael Pittman Jr. altercation on Monday by saying that he thought Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton should have been ejected for pushing an official.

Pittman Jr. and Dugger were both ejected, although Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich said Monday that he didn’t think Pittman Jr.’s ejection was warranted.

Belichick declined to offer his opinion on those ejections, instead taking the opportunity to offer an opinion on Hilton.

“Based on the rule, I don’t see why T.Y. Hilton wasn’t ejected,” Belichick said in his news conference with local media in New England. “I mean, he pushed an official. That was pretty clear, but that wasn’t called at all. That’s a clear-cut ejection to me.”

Under prohibited acts, Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, paragraph e states:

Under no circumstance is a player allowed to shove, push, or strike an official in an offensive, disrespectful, or unsportsmanlike manner. The player shall be disqualified from the game, and any such action must be reported to the Commissioner.

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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (11) reacts as he gets up after fighting with New England Patriots safety Kyle Dugger (23) on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during a game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (11) reacts as he gets up after fighting with New England Patriots safety Kyle Dugger (23) on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, during a game against the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

On the replay, Hilton does appear to push the referee, Tra Blake, who tumbled out of the scrum to the ground, although it’s unclear if Hilton realizes it’s a referee or if the momentum of the pile pushed Hilton into Blake.

The NFL’s replay office in New York reviewed the scrum and played a role in the decision. The NFL will likely hand out any other fines and discipline later this week.

Belichick didn’t offer a clear opinion on the Dugger-Pittman Jr. exchange.

“I would say I understand that. Whether I agree with it or not is another discussion,” Belichick said. “I don’t understand why T.Y. Hilton wasn’t ejected for contacting the official. Intentionally or unintentionally, that has no bearing on the play, and those plays are reviewable and are reviewed. I don’t understand that one, you’d have to talk to the officials about that, they’re the ones who made the call.”

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Bill Belichick: T.Y. Hilton should have been ejected for pushing ref