The NFL today levied a $100,000 fine against Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin for his actions during the Thanksigiving night game against the Baltimore Ravens. During the third quarter, Tomlin stepped onto the field of play during a kickoff return, forcing Baltimore returner Jacoby Jones to alter his run. That altercation may have prevented Jones from scoring on the play.
The league issued a press release announcing the fine:
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 for interfering with a play in progress during last Thursday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. In addition, because the conduct affected a play on the field, a modification or forfeiture of draft choices will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined.
The discipline was issued by NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations RRay Anderson.
With 6:26 remaining in the third quarter, Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff 73 yards to the Pittsburgh 27. During the return, Tomlin – in violation of Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL Rule Book – was in the restricted white border that surrounds the playing field and stepped foot onto the playing field during the play.
Tomlin’s positioning in the white border during play should have resulted in a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
It's interesting that the team will still consider changing the Steelers' draft picks due to the incident. The 2014 draft order will not be finalized until the Super Bowl, so another announcement from this situation will likely occur some time in February.
The league also decided to not remove Tomlin from the Competition Committee. Tomlin joined the committee in April.
The Miami Dolphins visit the Steelers this weekend.