The NFL's decision to suspend Javon Wims wasn't surprising. Wims, who made headlines for throwing punches at New Orleans Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson on Sunday afternoon, was handed a two-game suspension from the league office on Monday, though there are already reports surfacing that he plans to appeal. Regardless of whether he's able to dodge punishment form the league, Wims will undoubtedly face some sort of team-implemented discipline, whatever that entails.
"I really don’t know that answer yet," Matt Nagy said in regards to the Bears' plan. "We’ll get through that and figure out how that works. I haven’t been through that before, so it’s kind of new to me, so we’ll just kind of wait and see where that’s at and collaborate together as an organization and figure out what’s next."
The Bears (Wims included) have gotten in their fair share of training camp fights over the last three years, but this is the first real example of regular season disciplinary issues popping up during the Matt Nagy tenure. He did say that the two have already had a conversation about the incident, which not only got Wims kicked out of the game, but almost certainly played a role in the Saints' interception on the very next play. Nagy declined to go into details about what was said in the meeting, only mentioning that Wims did apologize and 'knows and understands' the mistakes he made. "He was apologetic and knows that, no matter what, you can’t do what he did," the head coach added.
Players that talked on Monday (understandably) took a less harsh tone when addressing the fight. Darnell Mooney hadn't yet spoken to Wims personally, but told media that, 'I know he's a good guy.' He admitted that in the moment he was surprised to turn around and 'a lot of hostile things going on,' but is hopeful that the team can use it as a positive learning experience as the second half of the season gets underway.
"I know throughout his mind, I mean whatever happened in the game, it's probably an emotional game. But I mean I love him," Mooney said. "No one knows what happened at that time besides those two. But like I said hopefully we can move forward and keep going."
Don't expect to hear much more about it from the Bears locker room, though. As Robert Quinn said on Monday morning, there's not a whole lot the players can do in situations like this. And considering the evidence that suggests Wims may have been – in part, at least – sticking up for Anthony Miller and Tarik Cohen, there seems to be bit more understanding among his teammates.
"We can talk to him and try to understand, but we’re not the head coach," Quinn said. "And plus, the NFL has its own disciplinary actions. At the end of the day, we just want to make sure our teammates are doing alright. I didn’t know what personally went on, but you protect your brother no matter what and we figure it out after that. But in moments like those you just protect your brother and we’ll handle the rest after that.”