<
>

Trotter, Mathis to be fined for pre-game scuffle

A pregame fracas earned Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Kevin Mathis ejections before Monday night's game. It will also make their wallets lighter.

Trotter and Mathis each will be fined by the NFL later this week for their actions. League sources told Cold Pizza NFL contributor Bob Glauber the fines could be as much as $10,000.

Last season, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter and Browns running back Williams Green were fined $10,000 each for their pre-game fight. Trotter and Mathis could face lesser fines because their altercation did not carry on as long as the Porter-Green melee.

Trotter apparently pushed Mathis, who responded with a punch. Another Falcons cornerback, DeAngelo Hall, also appeared to throw a punch. Then everyone got into it, forcing the officials to step in.

Trotter, speaking on a Philadelphia radio show, said he was surprised how quickly things escalated.

"I didn't expect him to throw a punch, and I would love to meet him by the parking lot," The Philadelphia Inquirer quoted him as saying.

Trotter claims he didn't throw a punch in the scuffle.

"I'm positive I didn't throw a punch," he said, according to the Inquirer. "Clearly, the guy hit me first. I tried to grab his face mask and tried to defend myself. It's sad that it happened."

The Falcons clearly got the best of the pregame skirmish. Mathis
is a reserve cornerback normally used in passing situations, while
Trotter is a Pro Bowl linebacker and the main run stopper in the
middle of the Eagles' defense.

With Trotter out, Atlanta rushed for 200 yards in the 14-10 win.

"We were just trash talking, it escalated and everybody was
jumping in, but that was it," Trotter said. "You expect you
teammates to come in and defend you. I don't think anyone should
have been ejected."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.