The Texans and Titans mixed it up in a fourth-quarter brawl after a run by Steve Slaton to the Texans' sideline on Sunday at LP Field. Titans defensive tackle Jason Jones was ejected from the game for throwing a punch in the incident.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that it looks the melee started when receiver Andre Johnson and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who had been jawing at each other all game, got into it after the play. Johnson was blocking Finnegan during Slaton's run.
"They go at it every time we play," Kubiak said. "They go at it every snap. They're very competitive and they're both great players, Pro Bowl players. I think that's how things kind of got going."
After the game, Jones said that he was just trying to help Finnegan, who was the lone Titan in a sea of blue jerseys on the Texans' sideline. Jones admitted that he pushed somebody but denied throwing any punches.
No Texans player was ejected after the incident. David Anderson was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty, but Titans coach Jeff Fisher said that referee Walt Coleman misspoke when he said number 89.
"It was number 80," Fisher said on Monday. "Andre Johnson jerked Cortland down by the face mask on their boundary, and that started the ruckus in the bench area. It was a crack-toss; he grabbed Cort and they we're pushing and shoving and he had cloth and pulled him out of bounds, grabbed him down by the face mask and then Cort was trying to get loose. Then, Jason went in to rescue or whatever. I didn't see a punch thrown, I'm not questioning whether or not. If you're going to eject a player, you better be sure that he threw a punch."
Fisher, who has served as the co-chairman of the NFL's Competition Committee since 2001, believes that a penalty from the league will be coming Johnson's way.
"He'll be fined for that," Fisher said. "That was the act that led to the incident on the sideline. But that's not something where you would eject a player."
The Titans' coach was asked whether it was surprising that only one player was ejected.
"There's a lot going on over there," he said. "The league will take a look at it, and I'm sure there will be more fines and things for the people involved. At this point, all I can say is I didn't see the punch thrown. Again, they're not going to eject a player without having been fairly sure that it was thrown."
Kubiak, meanwhile, said he had a message for his players after the game.
"They better keep their poise and you can't lose football games because you lose your poise, whether it's your bench, their bench, the middle of the field," he said. "You want your guys to be aggressive and battle, but you've still got to keep your poise."