News and Analysis

Tampa Bay Bucs Head Coach Fined $50k For Slapping Player’s Helmet
TAMPA, FL - DECEMBER 19: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians reacts to a call on the field during the regular season game between the New Orleans Saints and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on December 19, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians was fined $50,000 by the NFL for slapping Tampa Bay safety Andrew Adams on the helmet during the Bucs 31-15 Wild Card playoff win over the Philadelphia Eagles. 

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport announced the news on Wednesday. 

The incident occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game when Arians smacked Adams on the head and put his elbow into the safety. On Monday, Arians said he was attempting to stop Adams from pulling an Eagles player off of the pile, which could have resulted in a penalty. 

“No, and I’d seen enough dumb. You can’t pull guys out of a pile,” Arians said. “We just got a big play, great field position, and he’s trying to pull a guy out of a pile and I was trying to knock him off that guy so he didn’t get a penalty.”

Arians said he will appeal the fine from the NFL during his Wednesday press conference. 

“I’ll appeal it,” Arians said. “It ain’t got nothing to do with the game, so we’re good.”

It’s been an interesting few weeks for the Tampa Bay head coach, who recently released wide receiver Antonio Brown from the team after Brown left the field shirtless during the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s week 17 win over the New York Jets. 

Brown, who was listed as “questionable” on Tampa Bay’s injury report due to an ankle injury leading up to the game against the Jets, claims that he was cut mid-game after informing coaches that he was not healthy enough to play. 

“Because of my commitment to the game, I relented to pressure directly from my coach to play injured. Despite the pain, I suited up, the staff injected me with what I know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using, and I gave it all for my team,” Brown said in a statement through his attorney Sean Burstyn. “I played until it was clear that I could not use my ankle to safely perform my playing responsibilities.” 

After playing for nearly three quarters, Brown said the pain became “extreme,” forcing him to take a seat on the sidelines. 

“I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, ‘What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with you?’ I told him, ‘It’s my ankle,’” Brown said in the statement. “But he knew that. It was well documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, ‘Coach, I can’t.’ He didn’t call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.”

“I didn’t quit. I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out.”

The day following the game against the Jets, Arians denied being aware of Brown’s injury. 

“I don’t know that he was (injured),” Arians said. “It was pretty obvious what happened. He left the field and that was it. We had a conversation and he left the field.”

Tampa Bay faces the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday in the NFC Divisional Playoffs. 

Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to

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