The Detroit Lions were hit with a weird unsportsmanlike conduct penalty between quarters at FirstEnergy Field on Sunday.
As it turns out, it was because one of Dan Campbell’s players “said something about somebody’s mother.”
The Lions coach briefly explained why Detroit was given a 15-yard penalty between the third and fourth quarters after a 13-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Though he didn’t explain what offensive lineman Jonah Jackson said specifically, it was directed at Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's mother.
"I don’t know what to tell you," Campbell said, via the Detroit Free Press. "It was something that is said. It was something about somebody’s mother, OK? And there was a lot of talking going on out there, but so it was a penalty."
The penalty was enforced between downs, which pushed the Lions back into their own territory to start the fourth quarter — and eventually led them to punt.
The Lions made a solid push at the end of the game, and nearly escaped Cleveland with their first win of the season. After falling into a 13-0 hole at halftime, D’Andre Swift scored on a massive 57-yard touchdown run and Aldrick Rosas kicked a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter after an interception to bring Detroit within three points.
That was as close as the Lions could get.
Backup quarterback Tim Boyle started in place of an injured Jared Goff, and went 15-of-23 for 77 yards and two interceptions. Swift ran for a career-high 136 yards to keep the Lions in it as long as he could.
"It hurt," Campbell said of the penalty, via the Free Press. "And look, he knows it. He knows it. He knew it when it came off, but there was a lot of talking going on. And as a matter of fact, while I’m getting told that, I’m hearing talking. But that’s part of it."
While the end result can't be blamed on whatever Jackson said, his penalty was certainly a costly, and unusual, one. He said he apologized after the game to Clowney, too.
“First of all I should have never even put my team in that situation, but it was the heat of the moment, heat of the game," Jackson said, via the Free Press. "We actually chopped it up after, apologized. It was both sides, but definitely should have never been in that situation to begin with."