By: Will Burchfield
Jim Caldwell believes A’Shawn Robinson and three other Lions may face league discipline for their role in a dustup in the waning moments of Detroit’s loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
Robinson was ejected for twice punching Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey in the helmet after he and Akeem Spence ignited a shoving match by charging into the offensive line as the Steelers were taking a knee to run out the clock.
“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Caldwell said of Robinson’s ejection. “Obviously, he was penalized, ejected from the game, so that’s an issue.”
Pouncey was also ejected for punching Robinson in the face mask.
It appeared that defensive linemen Cornelius Washington and Jeremiah Valoaga and cornerback D.J. Hayden were guilty in the incident as well, as they entered the fray from the sideline.
“There’s three guys that ran out onto the field, that’s an issue. Those are the things we have to address. We’re not going to stand for it,” said Caldwell. “It’s one of the things we want to be known for, we want to play this game the way it’s supposed to be played. Losing your poise is not one of those things.
“So, we’ll handle that. We’ll handle it in house and certainly the League may have something to say about it as well.”
Spence said he and Robinson charged Pouncey in response to the Steelers playing dirty throughout the game.
“Just tempers flaring, man. Guys had been taking shots at us all game. I don’t know what happened on the other side. I can’t really speak on it, but I know I’m going to take care of my guys and my guys are going to take care of me and let the chips fall where they may,” said Spence, via the Free Press.
Spence accused the Steelers of taking “head shots” and said play “was chippy the whole game.”
“I think I got high-lowed a couple times,” he said. “Guys came back around, chopped me in the legs. it was just a mean football game, man.”
Caldwell didn’t necessarily agree with Spence’s assertion that the Steelers played dirty.
“The officials are there to control the game. They’ll make certain determinations if they see something that’s illegal or against. They didn’t throw any flags, and that’s what we go by. The officials are seldom wrong,” Caldwell said.
In the immediate aftermath of the dust-up, Jim Caldwell wasn’t entirely sure what happened or who was involved.
“We’ll figure it out and those guys will be punished and dealt with accordingly,” he said. “Something that shouldn’t happen.”
But after reviewing the tape, it’s clear he expects the league to hand down some discipline. As to whether that might entail suspensions, Caldwell wouldn’t say.
“I don’t know that,” he said.
The Lions visit the Packers in Week 9 on Monday Night Football.