Lazard fined for taunting vs. Dolphins, calls the NFL's decision contradictory
GREEN BAY − Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard was fined by the NFL for taunting, he confirmed to PackersNews on Friday. Reports state the fine is around $10,600.
"I'm going to appeal it, my agent and I," Lazard said. "It's not like it was an aggressive hit or anything that injured another player. It was perfectly legal. So I don't see what − I'm getting fined for taunting, which I think is kind of silly."
The play in question occurred during the fourth quarter of the Packers win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Facing a first-and-20 from the Dolphins 38-yard line, the Packers gave the ball to running back Aaron Jones, who hit the right edge for an 18-yard gain. The play unfolded in large part thanks to Lazard, who executed a block that caused a domino effect, taking out three Dolphins defenders.
"Going through the play and everything, understanding leverage and how the ball was coming out, I could feel Aaron Jones was behind me," Lazard said of the block Wednesday. "I knew if I sealed the edge right there, that he would be able to go out and get an explosive out of it. So obviously I had a block, but Aaron Jones did a great job of just doing his job and getting the most yards that he could."
After the play, Lazard, who has long been lauded by coaches and teammates for his blocking ability, turned and counted the three defenders, pointing with one, then two, then three fingers, at each Dolphins player sprawled on the field. The play and subsequent celebration were highlighted on recap shows, praised by teammates and even shared on social media by the official NFL account. Then, the league office levied the fine on Friday for taunting.
"It's contradictory," Lazard said of the usage on social media then a pivot to a fine. "They highlighted the play on social media, even during the game, they obviously praised it as it being a good play."
The NFL has since deleted the tweet in question, but shares on social media show the placeholder where it originally existed.
Lazard said he isn't sure yet what will all be entailed in the appeal: "I don't really know what to specify other than it being excessive."
The veteran receiver joked he didn't think passing a hat around the locker room would do any good, but teammates did spend the week giving props to Lazard for the crucial block, which has become par for him.
"That's what got him on the field a bunch when he was a third and fourth guy, and that's what keeps him on the field and makes us love him so much. Because he gives up his body like that, consistently," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "You want your best players to be your best people, and Allen definitely is one of our best people − and he proves it week after week by doing things like that."