NEW YORK (AP) – Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games for kicking Dallas center Andre Gurode in the face during Sunday’s game.
The NFL said yesterday that Haynesworth was suspended for flagrant unnecessary roughness.
The suspension, which is without pay, is effective immediately.
Haynesworth will be eligible to return to the field Nov. 19 for the Titans’ game at Philadelphia.
“There is absolutely no place in the game, or anywhere else, for the inexcusable action that occurred in yesterday’s Titans-Cowboys game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said.
Haynesworth was penalized and ejected from the game early in the third quarter after he twice kicked Gurode in the head following a five-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones of the Cowboys.
“What I did out there was disgusting,” Haynesworth said Sunday. “It doesn’t matter what the league does to me. The way I feel right now, you just can’t describe it.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Haynesworth’s actions were unacceptable.
“I felt there needed to be some serious action taken from a discipline standpoint, and I believe that what the league has done right now is adequate,” Fisher said.
Jones had just scored on a five-yard run, putting Dallas up 20-6 in what wound up as a 45-14 victory.
Gurode’s helmet came off, and Haynesworth, standing over him, used his right foot to kick Gurode in the head.
Gurode said they hadn’t been talking or having any exchanges that led to Haynesworth kicking him twice. He received stitches above his forehead and beneath his eye.
“In all my years of football, this has never happened to me. I’ve never been kicked in the face like this, and I’ve never seen anybody kick nobody else in the face,” Gurode said.
Before Monday, the longest suspension for on-field behavior was two games for Green Bay defensive lineman Charles Martin for throwing Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon to the ground during a game on Nov. 23, 1986.