It didn’t take long for the NFL to reach a decision on Javon Wims‘ punishment. The Chicago Bears wide receiver will be suspended for two games for hitting New Orleans Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson twice in the helmet and causing a mini-fight during Sunday’s game.
Michael Signora, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Football & International Communications, released the following announcement Monday afternoon via Twitter:
“Javon Wims of the Chicago Bears has been suspended without pay for two games for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct rules,” the league’s statement began. “NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 14(c) which prohibits striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s) or hand(s), as well as Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship.”
Javon Wims of the Chicago Bears has been suspended without pay for two games for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct rules. pic.twitter.com/hkNaN6aEpc
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 2, 2020
The league will allow Wims the opportunity to appeal the suspension, which he has chosen to do. If upheld, he won’t be eligible to return until November 17, which means he’ll miss matchups against the Tennessee Titans and Minnesota Vikings.
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Does This Mean It’s Finally Time for Riley Ridley?
The Bears’ fourth-round selection in 2019, wide receiver Riley Ridley has been one of the more puzzling aspects of the Bears offense over the last two years. The confusing part is how he has been used — or, more to the point, not used. Ridley played his college ball at Georgia, where he racked up 43 catches for 599 yards and nine touchdowns his junior year before declaring for the draft. Many thought he was a steal for the Bears in the fourth round, so how little he has played since entering the league has been a bit curious.
After sitting much of last season, Ridley finally saw some action, playing in five games in 2019. He caught six passes on seven targets for 32 yards last year, but he has yet to see the field during the 2020 season. It’s looking like he’ll get a chance to show what he can do, at least over the next two games.
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Bears HC Matt Nagy, Bears May Still Punish Wims
Bears head coach Matt Nagy was not pleased when he was asked about the incident with Wims. During an interview with Bears flagship station WBBM Newsradio 780 Monday morning, Nagy had this to say about it: “That’s not good for this game. That’s not good for kids that watch the sport of football. We’re not going to deal with that. … That’s not how we do things here. There will be consequences.”
While there have been a few in-team skirmishes in practice since his arrival in 2018, there hasn’t been a Bears player who has started a fight mid-game during Nagy’s tenure. It will be interesting how the team chooses to deal with Wims’ behavior from a disciplinary perspective.