Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins said he did not mean to make contact with referee Alex Kemp in the first half of Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears, and he did not think his actions were worthy of an ejection, either.
“Obviously, I don’t agree with it,” Collins said Thursday. “I mean, I didn’t feel like that I was a threat or anything towards him, and it wasn’t like I just intentionally tried to make contact with him. Like I said, it was just a mistake and obviously like I said, obviously I don’t agree with it but it’s not in my control. I just take the consequences and move on.”
Collins, the Lions’ biggest free agent addition of the offseason, was ejected with 12:24 left in the first half when he hit Kemp in the chest with his helmet as he was trying to demonstrate Bears running back David Montgomery’s rushing style.
Kemp, who flinched his body towards Collins as Collins lowered his helmet, said in a pool report after the game Collins was ejected per league rules that prohibit players from having unnecessary contact with officials.
“I mean, it was a mistake,” Collins said. “Nothing was intentional, obviously. It’s crazy a person like me would ever, so they say, hit a referee. Like I said, it wasn’t intentional. It is what it is. They called it, they threw me out, can’t do nothing about it. Take it on the chin and hope for the best, get ready for (this week).”
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Lions coach Matt Patricia said Monday he had a long talk with Collins and the team, reminding everyone not to contact officials.
“I think the bottom line is there’s rules in place for a reason, and it’s to protect everyone that’s out on the field, including the officials, and everybody knows that,” Patricia said. “Whether it’s an honest mistake or not, you just can’t do that and that’s the bottom line.”
Collins said he watched the Lions’ fourth quarter collapse from the locker room, though he was so upset about his ejection that he couldn’t bring himself to watch earlier parts of the game.
“That’s what I was thinking about, just me being selfish, being in the locker room and those guys out there battling, man,” Collins said. “We bleed and sweat together every day and I couldn’t be out there with them to finish the game, and like I said, that’s on me. So that was the main thing going through my head, knowing that I couldn’t be out there with those guys and just trying to fight through it, watching it on TV, watching those guys battle, knowing that I’m right there and I couldn’t do nothing about it.”
Asked if he was fined and planned to appeal, Collins initially said yes before insisting, “I haven’t heard anything.”
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