NFL reviewing Bears-Lions incidents

Updated: November 15, 2011, 8:41 AM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The league will review the fight that took place in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bears' 37-13 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Soldier Field, an NFL spokesman said Monday, and Bears cornerback D.J. Moore expects to be fined.

Bears coach Lovie Smith on Monday said Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford should have been ejected along with Moore following the altercation. Moore charged Stafford, who dragged down the cornerback by grabbing the back of his helmet and his facemask during an interception return by Tim Jennings.

"I saw Tim run by him, so I was going to let him go," Moore said Monday on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "Then he grabbed the bottom of the facemask and then he grabbed the back of my helmet and it seemed he was trying to -- I don't know what it was -- hurt me.

"That's pretty much what it was. And then after I hit the ground, I got up, and I knew what I was going to do after I got up off the ground."

Moore expects a fine.

"I would say so, if it caused a melee or whatever, I would think so," he said.

Smith thought Stafford deserved the same penalty as Moore.

"First off, you shouldn't retaliate on something that happens, and the officials are supposed to be looking at the instigator in situations like that," Smith said. "D.J. was not (the instigator). Stafford grabbed him by his helmet, you can't do that either.

"In those situations, I can understand the officials throwing out one guy, D.J., but it seemed like both guys should've been thrown out in that situation."

Officials review all plays involving potential violations whether penalized or not, and they are referred to Ray Anderson, vice president of football operations, and Merton Hanks, the vice president of football operations.

Hanks and Anderson make the initial determination for discipline for violations, and it appears the duo could have plenty of plays to choose from ranging from questionable hits on Jay Cutler by Lions defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, to the brawl between the teams that resulted in the ejection of Moore.

The Bears' Lance Briggs also received an unnecessary roughness penalty for a crushing hit on Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, which currently is being reviewed for potential discipline.

The fight came when Jennings intercepted a Stafford pass. Moore legally blocked the quarterback, who was backpedaling during the interception return. Then as Jennings approached midfield, Stafford grabbed the back of Moore's helmet and slung him into the turf.

Moore immediately hopped up and plowed Stafford -- then sitting on the ground -- back into the turf, sparking the skirmish and the corner's ejection.

Some of Chicago's players left the bench area (technically, the interception resulted in a change-of-possession situation), including center Roberto Garza, right guard Chris Spencer and right tackle Lance Louis to break up the melee, which lasted just a couple of minutes.

"You don't want to see one of your teammates just getting attacked by more than one guy," Smith said. "The NFL, modern video, will have a chance to look at everything. That's what the league is doing, I assume early this morning and now. I'm anxious to see exactly how they rule based on what everyone did. That got out of hand a little bit on both sides."

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, appearing Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000, said he was happy to see Moore's response.

"I like seeing my teammates retaliate like that," Urlacher said. "The guy pulled him down and D.J. didn't like it so he went after him. I don't think he threw a punch or did anything dirty. I definitely don't think what he did warranted getting ejected. I like seeing that from my teammates. He's a feisty guy and went after him."

The NFL sends out notifications of discipline during the week, and the players have the right to appeal through a process that involves appeals officers Art Shell and Ted Cottrell. The league won't officially announce disciplinary matters until Friday.

League guidelines say that "discipline in each case will be evaluated by its own facts and circumstances. This includes determination of whether the infraction occurred "during the normal course of the game" (e.g., was consistent with the competitive tempo, pace, and situation) or "outside the normal course of the game" (e.g., was flagrant, unnecessary, avoidable, or gratuitous)."

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Jeff Dickerson contributed to this report.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

ALSO SEE