The Chicago Bears couldn’t have been happy that one of their top receivers got himself thrown out of a wild-card playoff game.
Anthony Miller had been reacting to New Orleans Saints defenders talking after plays, and in the third quarter he threw a punch. That’s an automatic ejection.
Saints defensive back C. J. Gardner-Johnson, who had a history with the Bears going back to the regular season, was apparently talking in Miller’s ear after a third-down incompletion. Miller turned and hit Gardner-Johnson in the helmet. Both players got unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Miller got ejected, paying a much bigger price.
Gardner-Johnson was the recipient of two punches from receiver Javon Wims in the regular season. Trash talking through the game (and Gardner-Johnson stealing a mouthpiece) led to Wims going up to Gardner-Johnson and hitting him, then as Gardner-Johnson stood stunned, Wims hit him again. Wims was suspended two games.
Gardner-Johnson has a way of getting under the Bears’ skin and it cost Chicago one of its better offensive players on Sunday.
The Bears lost, 21-9.
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