LEONARD FOURNETTE of the Jacksonville Jaguars has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct and unnecessary roughness rules in Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations JON RUNYAN issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct, including using abusive, threatening or insulting gestures to opponents and using baiting or taunting acts that may engender ill will between teams; Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12, which prohibits striking an opponent; and Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(a), which prohibits throwing a punch at an opponent, even if no contact is made.
In his letter to Fournette, Runyan wrote:
“Sportsmanship is the cornerstone of the game and the League will not tolerate game-related misconduct that conveys a lack of respect for the game itself and those involved in it… Video of the incident shows that you were not a participant in the play and that you ran from your sideline to the opposite side of the field to insert yourself as an active participant in a fight. Once you entered the fight area, you struck a member of the opposing team. Your actions adversely reflected on the NFL and have no place in the game.”
Fournette will be eligible to return to the Jaguars’ active roster on Monday, December 3 following the team’s December 2 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.