Last week in the blowout loss to Tampa Bay, the referees ejected Bilal Nichols for throwing a punch at Bucs’ center Ryan Jensen. Now that almost a week has passed, the NFL fined Bilal Nichols over $10,000 for the hit. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first Bears player involved in an incident under head coach Matt Nagy.
Buccaneers’ center Ryan Jensen is known for his belligerence. He has been involved in altercations with defensive players in the past and Nichols was ripe for the picking. The moment happened with only a few minutes left of the third quarter. The Buccaneers led the Bears 35-3, so needless to say the Bears’ defense had already had enough of this Tampa Bay offense.
The NFL fined Bilal Nichols to continue their efforts in stopping this kind of behavior. The crackdown comes as no surprise either. This is Nichols’ fourth season in the NFL, all with the Bears, so this loss of focus isn’t acceptable. Matt Nagy clearly hasn’t instilled a disciplined culture in the locker room and has to regain his team’s focus. The Bears have already had players involved in these types of fights over the last couple of years. There could be a respect issue in the locker room.