ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Three Buffalo Bills defensive backs are paying a price for their involvement in a pre-game, on-field altercation with members of the New England Patriots last weekend.
Safety Robert Blanton says the NFL fined him $21,000 and cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman says he was fined $10,000. Safety Aaron Williams was also fined, but wouldn’t reveal how much. “It’s up there,” Williams said.
The three spoke to The Associated Press after practice Thursday. It’s unclear whether the NFL fined any of the Patriots players involved because the league releases that information each Friday during the season.
Several punches were thrown during a shoving match between players and coaches that erupted about an hour before kickoff.
Blanton said the altercation started once New England quarterback Jacoby Brissett and rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell jogged through Buffalo’s defensive backs drills for a second time.
Blanton ran at and shoved Brissett in the chest. While Brissett kept running, Mitchell retaliated by shoving Blanton.
Blanton responded by punching Mitchell in the chest and head-butting him, which led to several players and assistant coaches getting involved.
Williams shoved a Patriots assistant coach. Then, as the players began to separate, Robey-Coleman landed a punch on Mitchell’s facemask.
Following Buffalo’s 16-0 win, Blanton said he warned Brissett after the quarterback ran through the drills the first time. Blanton said the Patriots were being disrespectful and could have caused an injury because defensive backs can’t see who’s behind them when they’re back-pedaling during their drills.