Lions could face discipline for fracas with Steelers

James Hawkins
The Detroit News
A'Shawn Robinson

Allen Park – Sunday night’s heated battle between the Lions and Steelers hit a crescendo in the waning moments when defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson ignited a scuffle.

As a result, Robinson and three other Lions could face league discipline ahead of Monday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers.

Robinson was ejected with less than a minute remaining in the 20-15 loss for throwing two punches to the helmet of Steelers guard Ramon Foster after he plowed through the offensive line while the Steelers were taking a knee.

Several Steelers took exception to play and pushing and shoving ensued. During the fracas, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey delivered an open-handed blow to Robinson’s face mask.

Following the game, Lions coach Jim Caldwell said he wasn’t certain what happened on the play. But after watching the film, he criticized Robinson for his actions.

“When you're wrong, you're wrong,” Caldwell said Monday. “Obviously, he was penalized, ejected from the game, so that's an issue.”

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As the skirmish unfolded, three Lions – who appeared to be cornerback D.J. Hayden and defensive ends Jeremiah Valoaga and Cornelius Washington – rushed in from the sideline to join the fray.

“There’s three guys that ran out onto the field, that’s an issue,” Caldwell said. “So, those are the things we got to address. We’re not going to stand for it. It’s not one of the things we want to be known for. We want to play this game the way it’s supposed to be played and losing your poise is not one of those things.

“We’ll handle it in-house and certainly the league may have something to say about it as well.”

Caldwell added he was not yet sure if Robinson or any of the three Lions who ran onto the field will be available to play at Green Bay.

Robinson didn't have much to say about his ejection on Monday, replying to a reporter's questions simply with the word "football" six different times.

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After the game, defensive tackle Akeem Spence accused the Steelers of taking “head shots” and described the play up front as “chippy.”

“It was just nasty in there,” Spence said. “I got high-lowed a couple times. Guys came back around and chopped me in the legs. It was just a mean football game.”

However, Caldwell didn’t necessarily agree with Spence’s claim that there were any dirty plays by the Steelers.

“The officials are there to control the game,” Caldwell said. “They’ll make certain determinations if they see something that’s illegal. They didn’t throw any flags, and that’s what we go by. The officials are seldom wrong.”