Chiefs coach Andy Reid has declined to discuss specifics about the exact reason he decided to suspend Marcus Peters for one game following the team’s 38-31 loss to the New York Jets on Sunday.
However, a source told The Star on Thursday that Peters’ flag toss late in the loss is a league issue, one for which he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and will presumably be fined by the NFL. But Peters’ decision to walk off in frustration on his own accord following the incident is a team issue, which explains why Reid levied the suspension.
The explanation makes sense, considering tight end Travis Kelce was only fined, not suspended, for another incident with a referee —when he threw a towel toward an official who flagged him — during the Chiefs’ 19-14 win over Jacksonville in November 2016.
After the Jets loss, Reid explained Peters’ decision to prematurely walk off the field by saying Peters thought he’d been ejected. Peters eventually returned to the sideline wearing cleats but no socks.
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Before levying the suspension, Reid said Monday that tossing the flag and walking off “was the wrong thing to do.” He followed up Wednesday by saying Peters’ suspension had nothing to do with anything other than his actions on Sunday.
“I made it off of the thing that happened on Sunday,” Reid said. “That was it.”
Peters, who was visibly frustrated throughout Sunday’s game, boiled over after a defensive-holding call on cornerback Steven Nelson that negated a two-point stop that would’ve kept the score 36-31 Jets late in the fourth quarter. The penalty gave the Jets another crack at the two-point conversion, which they eventually got to take a seven-point lead.
The Chiefs still had a little over two minutes left to tie the game, and Peters returned to the sideline as the offense made its last-gasp attempt. But the drive stalled out, and the Chiefs lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Peters’ suspension means the Oakland native will miss the Chiefs’ showdown Sunday against his hometown Raiders. He will not be allowed to practice with the team this week and will also foreit a game check.
Quarterback Alex Smith was asked Wednesday if Peters’ incident was indication of team-wise frustration in the wake of a four-game losing streak.
“Nobody likes to lose, and when you have lost a few in a row, sometimes funny things happen,” Smith said. “It is a tough situation. Coach made the decision, though, (and)we are going to go with it
“Stakes are too big right now for what we have in front of us, the opportunity we have in front of us. We have a good locker room; we have a mature locker room. From an offensive side, we are different and it doesn’t affect us. Those guys will handle it the right way. We have to go as a team.”