The NFL fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians $50,000 for striking Bucs safety Andrew Adams on the helmet during the team’s 31-15 playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday.
Tampa Bay recovered a fumble by Eagles punt returner Jalen Reagor near the Bucs’ sideline in the third quarter of Sunday’s game. Following the play, Arians stepped into the field and struck Adams on the helmet with an open left hand. Arians explained his actions by saying he was trying to prevent Adams from being penalized for pulling players out of the scrum.
“No, I’ve seen enough dumb (things). You can’t pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile,” Arians said in a Monday news conference. “And I was trying to knock him off that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”
Video of moment shows that Adams had already disengaged from the pile; it appeared to be more about admonishment than penalty prevention. Regardless of intent, Arians is $50K lighter as the club prepares for a Divisional Round home playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Arians told reporters Wednesday he plans to appeal the fine.