The NFL fined Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert $9,115 for an unnecessary roughness penalty in the team's Week 15 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski reported Friday.
Gilbert was called for the foul in the third quarter of the Steelers' 24-20 win after he shoved Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Gilbert told reporters after the game he shoved Burfict out of frustration after he believed the Bengals linebacker had targeted Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell.
"Whatever his name, 55 [Burfict] was driving his helmet in the back of Le'Veon, he just kept digging and giving the extra elbow," Gilbert said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette. "I just got tired of it. C'mon, what are we talking about? We’re playing football."
Gilbert later added: "We ain't going out there and trying to hurt anybody physically, but we're trying to impose our will on them. They can tap out but not the extra unnecessary stuff to try to injure players and have career-ending injuries. You don’t play football like that. I'm sick of it."
The Bengals and Steelers have a documented history of animosity, and tensions ramped up after Bell's 2015 season came to an end when he suffered a torn MCL and PCL following a hit by Burfict.
But for now, the Steelers can focus on the good and forget the bad blood that has boiled over of late.
Pittsburgh swept the season series with the Bengals, who have been eliminated from playoff contention. Conversely, the Steelers are in the driver's seat in the AFC North and can clinch a division title with a win over the Baltimore Ravens Sunday.