Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth called some of the Oakland Raiders ''cowards'' for hitting him during an on-field skirmish.
Whitworth said on Wednesday that he hadn't yet received a fine from the NFL. He expects a significant one later in the week. Whitworth and Raiders linemen Lamarr Houston and Tommy Kelly were ejected in the fourth quarter of Cincinnati's 34-10 win on Sunday.
Whitworth hopes that veterans on the Raiders correct teammates who hit him and gouged his eyes during the scrum.
''I'd hope there would be guys on their team that would address that, but it is what it is,'' Whitworth said. ''You've got guys that want to make names for themselves and can't, and then they get frustrated. It's their opportunity to do something they feel and be tough, but that ain't tough. Face-to-face is tough.
''Most of those guys, they are what they are - they're cowards. And if they really wanted to have an issue with you, they'd address you. But they obviously don't.''
The brawl started after one of the Bengals' plays was whistled dead because of a false start. Houston tackled quarterback Andy Dalton after the whistle, and Whitworth confronted the lineman, going facemask-to-facemask.
''To be honest with you, if that situation happened again, I would still confront the guy,'' Whitworth said. ''And what I still believe - and why I called those guys cowards - is Lamarr Houston and I simply grabbed each other and were shoving, and that's all it would have been.
''But the other guys that jumped in and started swinging and throwing a bunch of punches and doing things to try to get ahold of us - that were taking cheap shots on me - that's what makes it a fight.''
Whitworth and Houston were ejected for their confrontation. Kelly was ejected for coming off the bench to join in. Other players could receive fines once the league finishes reviewing video.
The brawl ended with Whitworth on his back, Houston and Kelly on top of him. Whitworth hasn't watched video of it.
''Guys were trying to eye-gouge me, all that stuff,'' he said. ''I don't know (who it was). Like I said, I haven't watched the film. If I watch it, I'll go find those people, so I really don't want to know.''
The NFL can penalize players for going into a skirmish, a way to keep the situation from escalating.
''They say you even are fined for peacemaking,'' said Whitworth, the team's union representative. ''So they don't want anybody to enter a fight area, which doesn't make any sense.
''I mean, if you can't protect your own guy, then the guys that are taking cheap shots need to either be suspended, fined heavily or something done for taking those kinds of cheap shots.''
Whitworth said he's gotten a lot of support from teammates, fans and other NFL players for standing up for his quarterback.
''All throughout town, I haven't been able to go anywhere without somebody saying something to me,'' Whitworth said. ''Different guys I know across the league were texting me and stuff. So guys love it, they support it.''
NOTES: C Kyle Cook practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, his first workout since he hurt his right ankle in the final preseason game and had surgery. Cook is on injured reserve, but can return if he's healthy. He has a three-week roster exemption. ''Everything is good to go,'' Cook said. ''Now we just take it day by day and see how it feels.'' ... WR Andrew Hawkins (knee), CB Terence Newman (shoulder), RB Cedric Peerman (neck) and DT Pat Sims (thigh) also were limited in practice.
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