During last Sunday's NFC divisional-round game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Los Angeles Rams, Bucs defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was flagged for supposedly taunting Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Although the penalty stood on the field, the NFL has reportedly acknowledged that Suh's actions weren't taunting.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the league did not fine Suh for the taunting foul. Financial punishments have been customary this season for players that did get caught taunting during a game, but the Buccaneers defensive lineman got off scot-free, per Florio's report.
The taunting incident in question came after Suh sacked Stafford in the first quarter of last week's game. The Rams quarterback appeared to kick at the Bucs defensive tackle while the two players were still on the ground and Suh took objection. He went over to say something to Stafford and was penalized for taunting by a nearby official.
The Rams picked up an automatic first down and an additional 15 yards before scoring a touchdown later on in the drive.
The penalty seemed misplaced in the moment and was just the latest instance of a questionable taunting call this season. The NFL has tried to crackdown on taunting league-wide this year, but its harsh, new policy has been the target of widespread criticism from players, media member and fans alike.
With just three games remaining in the 2021 postseason, the league is unlikely to change the taunting criteria and enforcement this year. However, the NFL would be wise to take a look at its policy this offseason to prevent situations like the one with Suh from happening in 2022.