Coach Bruce Arians of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has announced he will fight the NFL's estimated $50,000 fine for slapping the helmet of one of his own players in Sunday's wildcard game.
After striking Buccaneers safety Andrew Adams during the defending champs' 31-15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, Arians received the fine, which was originally reported by NFL Network on Wednesday.
“I’ll appeal it,” Arians told reporters on Wednesday. “It ain’t got nothing to do with the game, so we’re good.”
During a scrum on the Bucs' sideline in the third quarter, the incident occurred. Jalen Reagor of the Eagles fumbled a punt return, which Tampa Bay recovered in the subsequent pile. Arians pursued Adams to ensure he didn't remove additional players from the pile, which would have resulted in a penalty. Arians slapped Adams across the face and then elbowed him in the shoulder.
On social media, the incident prompted debate. When asked about it on Monday, though, Arians remained unimpressed.
“I’ve seen enough dumb things – you can’t pull guys out of a pile,” he said. “We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile, and I was trying to knock him off of that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”
Adams is mostly a special teams player for the Bucs. He played 82% of the special teams snaps against the Eagles.