(Reuters) – The National Football League says it will investigate the actions of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin in coming close to Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones on a kickoff return during Baltimore’s 22-20 win over Pittsburgh on Thursday.
Video replays indicated that Tomlin, while standing on the stripe of white paint that edges the field, had his back to the play as he watched, via a giant screen, Jones power up the sideline for a 73-yard return.
Tomlin hopped out of the way just in time to avoid colliding with Jones but the wide receiver later said his stride had been broken “a little bit” by the Steelers coach, who could face possible discipline by the league.
Tomlin readily conceded that his actions were wrong while speaking to reporters after his team’s narrow Thanksgiving Day defeat on Thursday.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who completed 24 of 35 passes for 251 yards as his team fended off a ferocious late comeback by the Steelers, said that Tomlin knew exactly what he was doing.
Jones, however, played down the incident after giving his own account of what had happened.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh joked about the play when asked his reaction.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Gene Cherry)