|Should the Rams' Chris Long have been flagged? Does it matter? (US Presswire)|
Not that this magically absolves Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan of singlehandedly reducing his team's chances of winning Sunday's game against the Rams from, say, 50 percent to approximately three percent, but it won't make fans feel any better about the outcome. (On the plus side: it's one more reason to point and gawk at the replacement officials for being underwhelming and overmatched.)
Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith points out that seconds after Morgan let cornerback Cortland Finnegan get in his head, Rams defensive end Chris Long could be seen looking at the Redskins sideline and pointing to his helmet, which is the universal sign for "Use your head, dummy."
It might seem innocuous enough, but that's taunting by the letter of the rules. Via MDS, unsportsmanlike conduct prohibits “Using abusive, threatening or insulting language or gestures to opponents” and “Using baiting or taunting acts or words that engender ill will between teams.”
Is it ticky-tack? Probably. But it's also absurd that Long got away with it right in front of three officials. As far as we're concerned, Long could've done the David Brent dance in coach Mike Shanahan's face without a flag. Because if Morgan hadn't temporarily lost his marbles, Long would've been concerned with more pressing matters. Like keeping the Redskins from winning.
It gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective). Last week, the Washington Post's Mark Maske wrote about ways to mitigate Finnegan's nonsense and got some good advice from a Redskins player:
"You don't want to be the second guy because the second guy is going to get caught. He's going to come at you and he's going to be the first, second and third guy. You've got to remind yourself not to be that fourth and fifth guy, and throw your hands up and walk back to the huddle."
The voice of wisdom? Josh Morgan.
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