In the seconds before Sunday's ugly brawl between Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson, Finnegan grabbed the attention of the Texans' sideline and shouted, "Watch this," according to the Houston Chronicle on Monday.
The Chronicle, citing witnesses who observed the exchange, claims Finnegan yelled to the Texans' bench just before the snap of the ball and the ensuing fight, which came midway through the fourth quarter of the Titans' 20-0 win.
Johnson and Finnegan got physical on the previous play, with Johnson shoving Finnegan in the back. Finnegan walked away from that one.
Finnegan then set off the brawl on the next play by jabbing at Johnson's neck and face mask at the line of scrimmage. Johnson ripped off Finnegan's helmet and landed at least two punches to Finnegan's head and neck. The two spun each other, and Finnegan tore off Johnson's helmet before players and referees intervened.
This was Round 2 between Johnson and Finnegan. Last season, Johnson was fined $7,500 for taking Finnegan to the ground by the face mask during a scuffle after a play in a 34-31 Texans win.
"I wish that I could take back what happened, but I can't," Johnson said Sunday. "I'm pretty sure I'll be disciplined for it."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.