If you haven’t been sleeping under a rock the past 24 hours, then you’ve seen the video below.
This is what Bears fans saw live. It seemed like any normal Bears first-down play. The camera went panned from a throw short of the sticks targeting Allen Robinson to set up a second and five to Javon Wims running over and cracking Chauncey Gardner-Johnson with multiple punches. It seemed completely unprovoked and even the Saints’ defensive back was confused about it. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson wasn’t even lined up against Javon Wims on the play, which made Wims’ mistake even more egregious.
But was it unprovoked? We all know that Michael Thomas fought Chauncey Gardner-Johnson a couple of weeks back and was involved in the Tarik Cohen taunts during last year’s Saints game. The inverse is that Javon Wims fought Prince Amukamara in training camp last season. Before getting carried away, it’s football and fights happen, but both players have had altercations so one can’t say that either was acting out of character.
The whole situation was just so strange though. Could Javon Wims really snap like that just because of some trash talk? Below is a thread that takes a satirical approach to a legitimate investigation.
As you can see, it wasn’t just Javon Wims sticking up for his teammates. Not only did Chauncey Gardner-Johnson stick his fingers under Anthony Miller’s face mask and touch his face, but he ripped Javon Wims’ mouthguard off of his face mask as well. The league should probably look into some of Gardner-Johnson’s contentious actions.
In a regular year, it probably wouldn’t be as big of a deal — perhaps it would warrant a flag, not a suspension. But in 2020, limiting instances of possible COVID-19 transmission is essential. Touching another player’s face and the piece of rubber that goes inside someone’s mouth should warrant some sort of penalty. And that’s not even the worst of it. Earlier today, Javon Wims made a serious accusation regarding Gardner-Johnson’s actions.
If Wims’ claims are true, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson could get hit with a serious penalty if the NFL deems that the actions violate COVID-19 protocols. There are cameras everywhere and the NFL can and should investigate it, but there is no guarantee they have any clear and concise evidence, which that is something the league stresses. That leads us to the appeal.
It’s unclear whether or not Chauncey Gardner-Johnson’s actions will minimize Javon Wims’ suspension, but it’s worth a shot for the Bears’ wideout. If anything, it could lead to the NFL suspending and fining two players instead of one. Discipline could be brought down if Wims’ claim that Gardner-Johnson spat on him was caught on film. We’ll find out more as the appeal process gets underway.