National Football League officials will make a complete review of game films before deciding whether or not to fine Chicago Bear running back Walter Payton, ejected from Sunday's game with the Atlanta Falcons for touching an official.
A league official said a $200 fine is the customary penalty for being ejected for a game. But it is not automatic, he said, and each case is weighed individually.
Art McNally, the NFL's supervisor of officials, will review the evidence before making a recommendation to Commissioner Pete Rozelle.
Payton, who had gained 40 yards on 12 carries, was ejected with 3:51 left in the third quarter when the Bears were leading, 17-14. The Falcons won the game, 28-17.
"I am not going to pay this fine," said Payton, who was tossed out of the game after bumping head linesman Ed Marion after a disputed fumble call on the Atlanta one-yard line.
Payton acknowledged making contact with the official, but he said it was unintentional. Running toward Marion to protest the fumble call, he said he stumbled.
"I put my hands out to keep from stumbling over him," Payton said. "Immediately he reached for his back pocket (for a penalty flag) and said 'You're out of the game for hitting me.'"
Bear Coach Neill Armstrong said films of the game would exonerate Payton.
"We don't want to be crybabies," Armstrong said, "but in the first place, Walter did not fumble. In the second place, the film does not show him pushing the official. It's not his nature, not his nature to lose his cool."
Elsewhere in the NFL yesterday, the Baltimore Colts said the right shoulder injury suffered by quarterback Bert Jones in Sunday's 47-21 loss to the New England Patriots was not serious and that Jones should be able to play on Sunday.
Jones, who has been plagued by shoulder problems in the past, left the game after his first pass of the second half had been intercepted and returned for a touchdown. He had been hit several time earlier in the game.
"It's sore, but we expect him to play Sunday and to practice this week," a Colts spokesman said. "He just got hit in the shoulder. That's all."
In Pittsburgh, Steeler Coach Chuck Noll, said injuries leave the defending Super Bowl champions with grim prospects for the final four games of the regular season.
Kick returner Larry Anderson was hospitalized with what Noll described as a kidney problem, linebacker Robin Cole sprained an ankle and defensive end L. C. Greenwood injured his ribs.