Bears DL ejected for punching Bucs center in facemask


For the third time in the past year, the Bears on Sunday had a player ejected for throwing a punch at an opponent.

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Defensive lineman Bilal Nichols was ejected late in the third quarter of Chicago’s eventual 38-3 loss to Tampa Bay after he punched Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen in the facemask.

Afterward, Bears coach Matt Nagy could only shake his head.

“Those guys know that we can't do that,” Nagy told reporters in Tampa. “We've discussed a similar situation like last year with a player that they had with a player who was out there today. You know, it was loud and clear. But our guys understand, they know that every action has a reaction. What we need to do is continue to keep emphasizing it like we are, and guys gotta follow up by not falling into that trap.”

Last November, then-Bears receiver Javon Wims was ejected for sucker punching Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson in a regular-season game at Soldier Field. The two teams met again in the playoffs in January in New Orleans, where then-Bears receiver Anthony Miller was also ejected for punching Gardner-Johnson. The Bears had warned their players that Gardner-Johnson would try to rile them up.

The Bears then parted ways with both Wims and Miller prior to the start of the regular season.