The NFL will not suspend Washington Redskins guard Tre Johnson from Saturday's NFC semifinal game at Tampa Bay, the league announced yesterday.
League officials said they still are considering disciplinary action against Johnson for striking an official during a scuffle between Redskins and Detroit Lions players in Saturday's first-round playoff game at FedEx Field. An announcement could be made by the NFL today, sources close to the situation said.
Sources said Johnson likely will be fined more than the $20,000 the NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Wayne Gandy for pushing an official during the final weekend of the regular season. According to sources, there is a chance that Johnson could be suspended from a regular season game next season.
"The only thing being ruled out is a suspension from Saturday's game," Greg Aiello, the NFL's vice president of public relations, said from New York.
Other players also could be fined for Saturday's incident, the league announced. Several Redskins players left the sideline and were around the fringes of the fracas, and league rules say that players can be fined for unnecessarily entering the fight area.
The NFL said in its announcement: "The entire episode, including Johnson's role and possible fines against other players from both teams, continues to be under review."
Johnson said earlier yesterday at Redskin Park that a fine would not bother him too much as long as he was not suspended.
"I don't have any choice about it, do I?" Johnson said. "As long as I can play, I'm okay."
Redskins quarterback Brad Johnson said last night: "Tre's a leader on our line. It's a different game without him. It's unfortunate that play happened, but it's good we'll be intact for the Tampa game."
Tre Johnson came to the aid of Brad Johnson after the quarterback took exception to being hit by Lions defensive end Robert Porcher following a Detroit interception early in the third quarter. Brad Johnson wrestled Porcher to the ground, and Tre Johnson rushed into the pile-up. As the number of players involved in the scuffle grew, Tre Johnson got back to his feet and was being pulled away from the group when he hit back judge Bill Leavy twice on top of his head. Johnson said later he had not seen the official and hit him accidentally.
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and other league officials reviewed the incident yesterday, and Tagliabue made the decision not to suspend Johnson.