Judon explains ejection, ‘inadvertently’ striking official


Ravens linebacker Matthew Judon was ejected from Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers for making contact with an official. He released a statement after the 28-24 loss clarifying what happened during the scuffle on the Baltimore sideline.

“I would never intentionally make contact with an official,” Judon said in a statement released by the Ravens. “I was attempting to free my arm as I was being held back, and I inadvertently contacted the official’s arm. My emotions were running high in the moment, and I take full responsibility for what happened. I need to do a better job of keeping my cool and not doing anything that negatively affects my team.”

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson got tangled up with Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey after a play in the second quarter. Judon then separated the two by grabbing Johnson and appearing to throw him to the ground. It wasn’t until Judon was pulled off Johnson that his first caught the arm of an official.

"I was told what the replay showed," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after the game. "I’m quite sure that...I’m very confident that Matthew didn’t touch an official on purpose. I was told he was trying to release his hand away. There was some contact there, but it wasn’t anything he was trying to do — that’s what I understand the case to be.”

NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron told a pool reporter after the game that the contact was the reason for the ejection — though it is not an automatic call. The discretion and judgement of the official comes into play.


"If the official feels that it rises to the level of an ejection. For example, if a player bumps into an official during a play we're not going to disqualify him for that," Riveron said. "But if the official feels that it rises to a certain level, he or she has the option of ejecting the player on the field."

Referee Brad Allen deemed via replay that Judon was pulling his arm away while being held by a Ravens assistant coach and in his follow through hit the official, Riveron told the pool reporter. 

Judon finished the game without a tackle. He entered the game with 18 tackles, 11 quarterback hits and two sacks on the season.