Bears receiver Javon Wims has been suspended without pay for two games by the NFL following his actions in Sunday’s loss to the Saints.
With the game tied 13-13 early in the second half, Nick Foles completed a 5-yard pass to Allen Robinson II. On the other side of the field, Wims approached Saints cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson after the play and punched him twice in the facemask. Wims drew a 15-yard penalty and was ejected from the game.
On the previous possession, Wims and Gardner-Johnson appeared to exchange words after a play, with Gardner-Johnson yanking Wims’ mouthpiece off his facemask. Before punching Gardner-Johnson, Wims appeared to try to pull off Gardner-Johnson’s mouthpiece.
Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday that he had spoken to Wims, but added that “obviously out of respect, I’m going to keep that between us and internally.”
“I did talk to him,” Nagy said. “Just regardless of what went on, he knows and understands. He was apologetic and knows that no matter what, you can’t do what he did.”
Wims was suspended for violating NFL unsportsmanlike conduct rules that prohibit 1) Striking an opponent in the head, neck or face with a wrist, arm, elbow or hand; 2) And any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.
Wims will miss upcoming games against the Titans and Vikings and be eligible to return to the Bears’ active roster Nov. 17. The 2018 seventh-round draft pick from Georgia has appeared in all eight games this season, catching five passes for 35 yards and one touchdown.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Wims may appeal the suspension within three business days. Any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
Nagy was angered by the incident, describing it immediately after the game Sunday as “completely unacceptable.”
“We’ve talked to him and told him that that’s not how things go here,” Nagy said at the time. “One of Javon’s strengths is his character, who he is as a person. He’s since apologized. But you don’t have that. There’s no part of that in this game. That’s not how we roll here.”
Later in his press conference Sunday, Nagy brought up Wims’ actions again unsolicited, saying: “I’m just going to continue going back, I am really, really bothered by that third-quarter incident. That bothers me. I’m being completely honest with you guys. It bothers me.”
One play after the penalty on Wims turned second-and-five into second-and-20, Foles’ pass intended for Jimmy Graham was intercepted by Marshon Lattimore at the Bears’ 39. The Saints converted the turnover into Wil Lutz’s 27-yard field goal, taking a 16-13 lead.
“It’s brutal,” Nagy said Sunday. “You go from second-and-5 to second-and-20. That’s hard. What I don’t like is you come out, it’s a tie game and you have an opportunity to do some things and we go the other way. I felt like it took the sting out, the fire, for a little bit. We had to regroup. The defense, at least in that situation with the field position, was able to hold them and not let them score touchdowns. But we had to regroup offensively on the sideline and just let these guys know, ‘Let’s go. Get on track and get out of that.’ That’s kind of where we were with that.”