Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Bobby Hart was punished by the NFL for his aggressiveness and partially for his poor aim. Hart went after a Tennessee Titans player following a Monday night victory but failed to connect. Instead, he inadvertently struck a Titans assistant coach, per the NFL.
Hart is appealing the one-game suspension, according to a league source.
Explanation of Bobby Hart’s suspension
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct and applies to “any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship including throwing a punch at an opponent.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans appealed his one-game suspension. Evans’ appeal hearing before appeals officer James Thrash has concluded, per a league source, with no decision expected to be levied until Wednesday at the soonest.
Runyan wrote a letter to Hart explaining the suspension, describing him as the aggressor in the altercation.
“As both teams were heading to the tunnel, you walked directly across the field to seek out your opponent.” You approached him near the end zone and a coach had to hold you back as others shook hands. Once you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately swung at him with a closed fist, striking the head of a Tennessee coach. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
At this time, Hart will be out for the undefeated Bills’ Sept. 25 game against the Miami Dolphins. He will be eligible to return on Monday following that matchup.
Hart’s appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.