BUFFALO, N.Y. — The NFL on Tuesday suspended Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Bobby Hart for one game after the league said he took a swing at a Titans player following Monday night’s game but instead hit a Tennessee coach.
Per the league’s release announcing the suspension for violating unsportsmanlike conduct rules, Hart’s actions came at the conclusion of the Bills’ 41-7 victory. Neither the Titans player whom Hart took a swing at nor the coach hit by Hart were identified by the NFL.
In a letter to Hart, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote, “As both teams were heading to the tunnel, you walked directly across the field to seek out your opponent. You approached him near the end zone and a coach had to hold you back as others shook hands.
“Once you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately swung at him with a closed fist, striking the head of a Tennessee coach. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
Hart is planning to appeal the suspension, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, which he is entitled to do per the collective bargaining agreement. If he does appeal, that hearing will be before either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the officers jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA.
Hart, who played in three games for the Titans last season, is a backup offensive lineman for the Bills. He re-signed with the team on a one-year deal in April. The eighth-year lineman was originally selected by the New York Giants in the seventh round of the 2015 draft and has also played for the Cincinnati Bengals. He has played in 85 regular-season games and started 67. Hart earned a roster spot in training camp and the preseason based on his play and his ability to help at multiple positions on the line.
He played 25% of the team’s offensive snaps vs. the Titans, largely in the fourth quarter once the game was out of reach, including the final kneel-down. He also played seven special teams snaps.
Hart will be eligible to return to the active roster on Sept. 26 after the Bills’ Week 3 game against the Miami Dolphins.