As if the 15-yard penalty was not enough, the NFL has fined Redskins tight end Vernon Davis $12,154 for his touchdown celebration in last week’s victory over the Eagles, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
Davis drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty after he made a touchdown catch, turned and shot the ball into the air, mimicking a basketball jump shot.
The head official deemed the penalty unsportsmanlike conduct because Davis had used the ball as a prop. The penalty moved the ball 15 yards back for the ensuing kickoff, and the Eagles took advantage with an 85-yard return for a touchdown.
Davis, an 11th-year veteran, said he had no idea that new rule changes had made his celebration illegal. He has done the same thing after touchdowns for much of his career. Several Redskins players wondered how shooting a ball into the air was any worse than spiking the football, a celebration move that is permitted.
The fine that Davis received was roughly $3,000 more than what Josh Norman had to pay for shooting an imaginary bow and arrow during a game earlier this season. Norman’s fine was $9,115.
The NFL considers shooting a bow and arrow to be as violent as shooting a gun, although several players around the league have done it for years, including earlier this season, without receiving a penalty. Norman did so in the game against the Cowboys and did not receive a penalty, but the following week he received a warning that such an act would draw a flag.
For his part, Davis never received a warning that his jump-shot celebration was illegal.