Members of the Seattle Seahawks staff escort Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (99) from the field after he got into a shouting match with fans, when objects were thrown at him, in the closing moments of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville won 30-24.(AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

No suspensions for Seahawks after meltdown in Jacksonville

Ugly skirmish breaks out after loss to Jaguars

RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks will not face any suspensions for the melee that broke out at the conclusion of Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville.

It’s the only upside for Seattle to come from the ugly, unflattering conclusion to the loss which will certainly result in hefty fines and another tarnished moment where the Seahawks showed they don’t handle losing very well.

“Everybody is remorseful,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Monday. “We don’t want to play like that. We don’t want to look like that ever.”

The league is still reviewing the fracas that broke out in the closing moments of Jacksonville’s 30-24 victory for potential discipline, but no suspensions will be coming.

Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson and Quinton Jefferson were all flagged for personal fouls. Jefferson and Richardson were both ejected, and all three will be expecting letters from the league for their involvement in the ugly conclusion.

Jefferson’s reaction was the most egregious as the defensive tackle attempted to climb into the stands after fans threw what appeared to be bottles at him as he was leaving the field. He was pulled back by team staff.

“That was wrong. He was wrong. I’ve talked to him about it,” Carroll said. “Professional athletes, people can say whatever they want to say and that’s kind of what comes along with it. You have to be able to deal with it professionally. He lost it. He feels terrible about it. It’s not the kind of kid he is. He emotionally got overrun and he lost it. Fortunately people restrained him and all that.”

The Jaguars issued a statement Monday they were reviewing video and were conducting interviews with spectators and security staff in the area to identify those involved. The Jaguars said they had identified four individuals throwing five objects and those involved may lose the right to purchase future tickets or have their season tickets revoked.

But that doesn’t excuse Seattle’s behaviour in the closing moments and a continued pattern over several seasons where the Seahawks have turned end-of-game or end-of-half situations into skirmishes.

The most famous came in Seattle’s Super Bowl loss to New England when Bennett was involved in a scuffle in the closing seconds after Malcolm Butler’s goal-line interception secured the victory for the Patriots.

But there have been others in games against Green Bay, Atlanta and Tennessee in the past couple of seasons.

What exasperated Sunday’s situation was Bennett continuing to hold the leg of centre Brandon Linder after the initial swipe and setting off the first series of fights that ended in Richardson being ejected. Carroll said Bennett has been told to stop trying to swipe the ball from the centre going forward.

“That’s something he’s tried before. That’s why he’s way down on the ground like that. He’s trying to time it up and hit it, trying to get the ball back,” Carroll said.

“So he winds up underneath the pile and stuff, and the stuff that happened after that was wrong. He was trying to get the ball. But after that, that got messy.”

The fallout from Sunday went beyond the impression the Seahawks left. Starting linebackers Bobby Wagner (hamstring) and K.J. Wright (concussion) both left the game in the second half and did not return.

Wagner could be the more serious as Carroll said they won’t know the status of the potential defensive player of the year candidate until Saturday or Sunday. Wagner has been playing through a hamstring strain for weeks but aggravated the injury against the Jaguars.

Wright is in the concussion protocol, but Carroll said he was feeling better on Monday and was hopeful he’d be cleared.

“His impact couldn’t be any more obvious and we’re going to have to shore it up if he can’t go,” Carroll said of Wagner.

NOTES: Carroll and GM John Schneider met with injured rookie DT Malik McDowell on Monday following his arrest for disorderly conduct over the weekend in Atlanta. McDowell issued an apology on social media. “We’re going to work to help him in every way we can. We’ve already talked about that,” Carroll said. “Let’s hope this isn’t an indicator of things to come.” … Seattle had zero sacks of Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles. It was the second time this season Seattle failed to get a sack, both losses.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP—NFL

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