The NFL has suspended Bears wide receiver Javon Wims for two games without pay for his unsportsmanlike conduct against the Saints on Sunday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero was the first to report the news.
The NFL released the following as a part of their press release:
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 14(c) which prohibits striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s), or hand(s), as well as Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wims may appeal the suspension within three business days. Any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
Wims was ejected from Sunday’s game for punching Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson in the head after a play in the third quarter. Gardner-Johnson had instigated conflict with fellow Bears receiver Anthony Miller during the game, poking him in the face in between plays.
Pelissero also reported earlier on Monday that Wims told team officials that Gardner-Johnson spit on him and had ripped out his mouthpiece, the latter of which having been caught on film early in the third quarter. Upon his return into the game later in the quarter, Wims swung at Gardner-Johnson twice, hitting him in the helmet. The punches instigated a brawl between the two teams.
“One of Javon’s strengths is his character, who he is as a person,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said in a press conference following the game. “He’s since apologized, but that’s not…you don’t have that. There’s no part of that in this game…that’s not how we roll here.”
As the press release states, Wims will be eligible to return to the Bears after their Week 10 matchup against the Vikings. The following week is the team’s bye week, so Wims will be unable to see the field until Chicago faces the Packers on Nov. 29.
Wims has served as a rotational wide receiver for the Bears, playing on 26.5 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. He has just five catches for 35 yards and a touchdown in eight games. Though it appears unlikely the team will release him, his long-term standing as an active player on game days remains in doubt.