With fights breaking out in locker rooms and in practices recently, the NFL took a step to curb the recent fisticuffsamong its players and make sure they don’t spill onto the playing field.
League executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent reminded teams in a memo sent on Friday that "the prohibition on fighting is a point of emphasis in 2015."
The memo, which was obtained by FOX Sports, was sent to team executives, general managers and head coaches.
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Vincent reminded teams the rulebook prohibits striking an opponent with fists, kicking or kneeing an opponent and "striking, swinging at, or clubbing the head, neck, or face of an opponent with the wrist(s), arm(s), elbow(s) or hand(s)."
There were a whole lot of those activities in the Redskins-Texans scrum during their joint practice Saturday. Then former Jets linebacker IK Enemkpali’s punch to Geno Smith’s jaw was also an act addressed by the NFL’s personal-conduct policy under the workplace misconduct clause.
A league spokesman said the Enemkpali situation is being reviewed under that policy.
Though Vincent didn’t address any situation specifically and his memo focused on on-field actions, his words could be applied to the discussion some have had about whether Smith’s pointing a finger in Enemkpali’s face warranted a punch.
"These rules are in place for the protection and safety of our players to keep them on the field," Vincent wrote. "As professionals, no matter how emotional the game becomes, there is nothing that should resort to fighting. Coaches are encouraged to emphasize to players, coaches, and other club personnel who are on the sidelines, that fighting will not be tolerated.
"We greatly appreciate all of your efforts to advance our great game, keep it competitive and professional, and to ensure that it is played at the highest standards."