Sunday's odd pregame argument between Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (with help from Travis Kelce) was too early for the NFL to be concerned about. Tucker's interaction with Mahomes/Kelce occurred before the warm-up, according the league.
An October 18, 2023 message informing all teams about fighting on game day contains "the Official Team Warm-Up Period." Teams must stay inside their 45-yard lines and other rules.
Kickers and punters are exempt, according the October 18 letter.
Tucker, his helmet, footballs, and a mechanism for keeping balls in place for practice kicks were near the end zone where Mahomes was warming up, which made no sense.
Tucker lacked a kickoff tee. He has a sideline field goal practice apparatus. Tucker may have been practicing 10- or 110-yard field goals by sticking out around the goal line where Mahomes was throwing passes. It appears he was stretching. He stated Monday at his locker that he always warmed up the same way and wasn't attempting to cause trouble.
We'll trust him since he's never been an issue. Given his proximity to Mahomes, it's hard to assume Tucker had never been so near to opposing players that they would have had a problem. However, the Chiefs were ready to argue on Sunday.
They'd manufacture any issue, honestly. Ravens can bully, they know. Chiefs sought to out-bully bullies and press their buttons to throw them off their game.
It works. The Chiefs got under the Ravens' skin enough to turn their intense desire to win into five personal fouls, including two unnecessary roughness fouls, two roughing the passer penalties, and one taunting penalty.
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