The scuffle between Jaguars rookie receiver Marqise Lee and Lions cornerback Rashean Mathis in Friday's preseason game looked like most football dust-ups, with a big difference a few seconds after it got broken up.
Toby Gerhart ran left, Lee was blocking, he and Mathis started to lock up and refused to let go. There was some shoving and then they got separated. Then as two officials led Lee away, both suddenly grabbed their flags and threw them.
The abusive language rule.
Whatever Lee said was not allowed in the NFL's rules. The rule isn't new, but got a lot of attention for increased emphasis on cracking down on language with racial tones, although the rule is in place to penalize all abusive language. In the first two weeks of the preseason, six abusive language penalties were called, vice president of officiating Dean Blandino told Fox Sports.
“The initial impact is seen in the calls being made ... We’ve had six calls through 33 games,” Blandino told Fox. “That’s indicative of what the emphasis is. I think teams and players understand that abusive language at opponents and officials needs to be redirected.”
Lee got penalized 10 yards for what he said in Mathis' direction. The players on the field better learn to control what they say, because the NFL seems serious about not allowing abusive language, even when things get heated.
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