DETROIT — Detroit Lions linebacker Jamie Collins was ejected in the first half of Sunday’s season opener against the Chicago Bears for unsportsmanlike conduct after making contact with an official.
It was not clear what Collins was attempting to do at the time — perhaps trying to explain David Montgomery potentially lowering his head on the 1-yard run Collins had made the tackle on the play before.
Collins lowered his head and made contact with the official’s chest in doing so. Referee Alex Kemp then threw the flag and ejected Collins.
Kemp said after the game he saw Collins approaching him and that players are allowed to touch officials, such as putting hands on shoulders. But he deemed Collins’ actions to be “unnecessary.”
“So I called a foul,” Kemp said.
Kemp said it was his decision to eject Collins from the game and that he couldn’t have just called an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty because of “his actions, unfortunately.”
“I ruled unnecessary contact,” Kemp said.
Collins started his first game for Detroit on Sunday after signing with the Lions in free agency. He immediately became one of the Lions’ key players defensively and had three tackles with a quarterback hit and a pass defended in the quarter-plus he played before his ejection.
Also Sunday, cornerback Justin Coleman was ruled out for the rest of the game with a hamstring injury.