Source: John Harbaugh avoids fine
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh will not be fined for making contact with an official during Sunday's 31-30 win over the New England Patriots, a league official told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick is expected to be fined for grabbing a ref on his way off the field after the game, the official told Schefter, but will not be suspended.
Before last week's games, the NFL warned teams about proper conduct between coaches and replacement officials. The league apparently determined that Harbaugh did not violate that rule. A fine for Belichick could be announced as early as Wednesday, a source told ESPN's Ed Werder.
Harbaugh was flagged late in the fourth quarter for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Following the game, Harbaugh admitted he bumped an official, but said it was inadvertent while he was trying to make a timeout call.
Belichick grabbed the arm of an official as they were leaving the field after Baltimore kicked a winning field goal at the end of the game. On Monday, Belichick explained that he wanted an explanation as to whether the kick, which appeared to sail above and just inside the right upright, was being reviewed.
"I've coached in this league a long time," Belichick said Monday. "I've never been penalized, never had any incidents with officials or anything like that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I was trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call/play in that game. That's the No. 1 thing between coaches and officials, it's always at the forefront, just communication of what's going on and what's happening."
NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said Monday he was reviewing the incidents involving Belichick and Harbaugh.
On Tuesday, Belichick was asked if he's had the chance to explain his actions to the NFL.
"I think I'll just keep all of that process private, and whatever the league has to say, the announcements, or whatever they have to say, they can make those, or not make them, if and when they decide to do it. I'll just leave all that to them," Belichick said.
Information from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Ed Werder and ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates was used in this report.
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