The NFL has addressed the altercation in Monday night’s Chicago Bears game involving nickel back Kyler Gordon, whose face mask was broken during a clash with Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Brandon Powell. Surprisingly, neither player received fines for the incident, as the league only issued fines for nine plays in Week 12.
The unusual sequence unfolded when Gordon, blocking Powell during a Jaylon Johnson interception return, was penalized 15 yards. Initially announced by referee Alex Kemp as “unsportsmanlike conduct for taking his helmet off,” the penalty was later clarified as a taunting infraction against Gordon. Despite Gordon’s attempt to plead his case, the penalty stood. Replays revealed the initial block had led both players into the Vikings bench, sparking a brief altercation.
Gordon, holding up his partially detached helmet, explained, “I drove my dude into the benches, and we just kind of got into it.” He attributed the incident to the physical nature of football, stating, “He didn’t want to fall backward, so he pulled down on my face mask. It is what it is. Just football stuff.” Gordon expressed surprise at being flagged for taunting, emphasizing the difficulty of taunting while someone is pulling down your face mask.
During Monday’s game, Gordon received two penalties, including a 26-yard pass interference foul against Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson. Despite this, the second-year cornerback played a pivotal role in the Bears’ 12-10 victory, making crucial defensive plays, including stopping Hockenson short of the line to gain on fourth-and-7 and intercepting a tipped Joshua Dobbs pass. Gordon’s interactions with Powell were fully documented, as he was mic’d up by the Bears for the game.