The NFL is standing by officials’ decision on Sunday not to eject Cameron Heyward after he appeared to punch Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman was called for unnecessary roughness but was not ejected in the fourth quarter after appearing to punch Herbert in the abdomen following a 36-yard run out of the pocket.
“To be honest, I was running after the ball, and I caught my hand under, so when I was trying to get back up, I couldn’t get up, and I fell back on him,” he said after the game.
“I know it looks terrible, (but) there was nothing malicious behind it. I don’t think I was trying to punch him, but I know it looks worse than it is in slow motion. I’m sorry if I did anything to offend anybody. I wish I had said more to Justin after, but there was nothing behind it.”
Following the game, the Chargers star quarterback said there were no hard feelings as he gave a very classy response to the incident.
“Cam Heyward is an incredible player,” Herbert told McAfee. “I don’t think anything was intentional… football is an awfully emotional game and sometimes you get caught up in a pile.”
The 23-year-old QB threw for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 90 yards on the ground.
Through 10 games, the second-year signal-caller has thrown for 2,927 yards and 22 TD’s to eight interceptions.