Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly was ejected in the third quarter of the game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers for making contact with an official. The ejection epitomized the NFL's inability to adequately judge a situation, failing to realize that Kuechly believed a Packers player had grabbed him by the shoulders, not a referee.
On Monday head coach Ron Rivera discussed his disagreement with the call to David Newton of ESPN.
"I disagreed with it,'' Rivera said. "I disagreed with the explanation I was given. I looked at the tape and I felt the tape agreed with what I felt.''
Rivera was seen on the sidelines arguing with officials after Kuechly's objection and there are questions whether the linebacker will be fined for making contact with an official. Typically players have seen fines levied against them for such actions, but this situation is unclear; after all, Kuechly was breaking away from an official who grabbed him.
The Panthers coach was vehement in his belief Kuechly shouldn't be fined.
"No,'' Rivera said emphatically when asked Monday if Kuechly should be fined. "Not at all. Zero chance.''
There has been no official statement from the NFL on the ejection. One would hope they'll decry the official's move, but that wont happen. In short: Ankle twisting is okay, breaking away from an official is a no-no.
Kuechly had no idea who grabbed him from behind, but acknowledged that he should have kept his cool.
"To tell you the truth, I didn't know who was grabbing me,'' Kuechly said after the game. "I was trying to get out of there a little bit. You've just got to stay calm in those situations and just walk away and let it take care of itself.''
The whole situation was an utter mess and a miscarriage of justice, regardless of how stoic Kuechly wants to be.