You can understand why Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters presumably thought he was ejected on Sunday. Throwing an official’s penalty flag into the stands seems to be the type of thing that gets you kicked out.
But he wasn’t officially ejected, even though he walked off the field to the locker room, and then had to come back to the field without any socks on his feet. Yes, it was a bizarre scene.
It started when Peters was so fed up with the officials, who called multiple penalties on the Chiefs in the final few minutes with the Chiefs holding onto a 31-30 lead against the New York Jets and then called another on a two-point conversion, that he picked up the official’s penalty flag after a holding call and fired it into the stands. Imagine being the fan to get that unexpected souvenir.
The Jets fan catching the penalty flag Marcus Peters threw is the happiest I've ever seen a Jets fan pic.twitter.com/L93ueBrbwG
— Mike Tunison (@xmasape) December 3, 2017
That was a good enough story on its own. But Peters left the field, presumably because he figured his flag toss earned an ejection. It was penalized 15 yards but not ejected. And that led to Peters coming back on the field with no tape on his ankles or even socks. He had also given his gloves to a fan as he left the field.
That part would have been a lot worse had the Chiefs tied the game. They were down 38-31 but couldn’t get in the end zone to tie the game in the final minute. Imagine the madness had Peters had to play without gloves, socks or his ankles taped in overtime. Or if he had not been able to play in overtime for those reasons.
Peters’ frustration probably wasn’t just over the penalties at the end. Kansas City took a quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter, and the slumping team’s defense couldn’t do anything about it. They were repeatedly gashed by Josh McCown and the Jets. It was another horrible loss for a Chiefs team in a deep funk. But the penalties sent Peters over the edge.
Late in the game Bennie Logan was penalized for hitting the snapper on a field goal, giving the Jets a fresh set of downs inside the 10-yard line. The Chiefs seemed to get a third-down stop after that, but a defensive holding was called. On the Jets’ 10th snap inside the 10-yard line (!), they finally scored. On the two-point conversion McCown ran around and threw incomplete, but another holding call gave the Jets another shot at it and sent Peters into a rage. He argued, then picked up the flag and fired it into the stands, and that led to the weirdness of him leaving the field even though he wasn’t ejected.
The NFL will certainly look into the matter, and probably fine Peters. But what’s the normal fine for throwing an official’s penalty flag into the stands?
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