Mike Tomlin‘s sideline gaffe ultimately didn’t impact the outcome of Thursday night’s showdown between the Steelers and Ravens, but it very well could have. While his intent on the play is still unknown, and likely will continue to be, the NFL is at least weighing all options when it comes to potential punishments.
Tomlin’s sideline two-step from Thursday night is being reviewed by the league, and he is expected to be hit with some sort of penalty for his action, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. Tomlin’s punishment will be intended to set a precedent, as the NFL is trying to send a firm message to the rest of the league on the seriousness of such a mistake.
It’s likely that Tomlin will be hit with a six-figure fine for the error, much like the $100,000 fine Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi got for making contact with a player on a return in 2010. Tomlin didn’t make contact with Ravens returner Jacoby Jones, and he is much more high-profile, but that could only force the NFL to come down even harder on him. While the six-figure fine seems to be the most likely penalty, all options are on the table for Tomlin’s discipline, according to Pro Football Talk. That means Tomlin could also face a suspension or the Steelers could be forced to forfeit a draft pick next April.
The NFL will review the incident on Monday and likely make a decision by the middle of the week, when the league usually makes player discipline decisions.