Taunting and trash talk have found their way into the NFL mainstream.
In the Falcons - Lions game on Sunday, quarterback Matt Ryan appeared to be injured on a play, and his Atlanta teammates weren't too pleased with the way the Lions defensive lineman treated him before he went to the sideline.
Falcons' center Todd McClure and star wide receiver Roddy White were critical of the taunts that Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril directed at Ryan after offensive lineman Will Svitek accidentally stepped on Ryan's ankle.
Ryan is expected to have an MRI on his foot on Monday, but he returned to the game on the next offensive possession.
I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Cliff Avril], the [expletive] they were doing when Matt got hurt, said White to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. That was unacceptable. ... Like 92 was kicking [Ryan's] feet, saying, 'Get him off the field.' We don't do stuff like that. ... When you compete, you never want to see a guy get hurt.
Though there was no video to confirm it, Falcons players claim that Avril kicked Ryan's feet while mockingly calling for trainers to cart Ryan off the field.
I had respect for Suh before the game, said McClure, according to The Journal-Constitution. But when Matt was on the ground, the things [Suh] was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. There are certain things you don't do. [He said], 'Get the cart' and several other things that I can't repeat.
On Sunday night, Avril posted this message on Twitter: Come on I'm not in the business of hurting not one guy on the field... I would never taunt anyone on an injury...
Suh has yet to comment.
Avril, 25, and Suh, 24, have played a combined 71 games in the NFL, and neither has faced a suspension, though Suh was fined $7,500 for his hit on quarterback Jake Delhomme.