HOUSTON – It would seem Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan got exactly what he wanted during the Houston Texans 20-0 victory Sunday at Reliant Stadium
Seconds before an altercation broke out between Texans receiver Andre Johnson and Finnegan in the fourth quarter that got both players ejected, multiple sources told FOX 26 Sports Finnegan looked at the Texans sidelines and said, “watch this.”
After the ball was snapped Finnegan instigated the fight by hitting Johnson in the facemask with a forearm. The Texans All-Pro receiver began to retaliate. Both players ripped each other’s helmets off and Johnson landed several punches before the referees intervened.
While Finnegan did not speak to the media, Johnson quickly apologized for his actions.
“I would like to apologize to the organization, our owner, my teammates,” Johnson said. “What happened out there (Sunday) wasn’t me. I just lost my cool. I wish that I can take back what happened, but I can’t. It’s over and done with now. I’m pretty sure I’ll be disciplined for it. When that times comes I’ll find out what it is and have to deal with it from there.”
Johnson said he and Finnegan had been going at it throughout the game, with Finnegan using extracurricular tactics often.
“It’s just a build up of things over plays,” Johnson said. “I think that he was frustrated with what was going on during the game. He kept doing little things and I told him just because you’re frustrated you need to stop what your doing and I guess he thought it was funny.
“He was mad because we had exchanged some words. He tried to quick-jam me because he thought I wasn’t looking. He snatched my helmet off. I snatched his off and it went from there.”
Johnson acknowledged he is worried about getting suspended.
“It’s something I thought about,” Johnson said. “Of Course I hope that doesn’t happen because I would be hurting my team.”
Texans owner Bob McNair certainly doesn’t believe his star receiver should be punished further by the NFL.
“I don’t know why there would be,” McNair said. “The DB was all over him and he’s (Finnegan) the one that initiated it, and he’d been doing it the play before and the whole game. He just went a little too far and Andre was the one on camera when the action heated up. That’s not Andre.”
Johnson caught nine passes for 56 yards and one touchdown.
He needed only four receptions against the Titans to become the first player in NFL history to have at least 60 catches during his first eight seasons in the NFL.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Johnson said. “I always said that I wanted to be one of the best players at my position when I came into this game. I did something that no one else has done. I’m excited about it.”