Vernon Butler giving middle finger

The Carolina Panthers are 5-9 and the Indianapolis Colts are 6-8, so there isn’t much on the line for the outcome of their Week 16 game on Sunday. However, that doesn’t mean emotions can’t run wild and even get the better of some players.

The Colts led 21-3 just two minutes into the second half when Panthers defensive end Vernon Butler was tussling with Colts offensive lineman Mark Glowinski. The two fell over into Colts wide receiver Jack Doyle at the end of a play. Fired up, and perhaps confused, Butler got up and immediately punched Doyle in the head before stepping over him.

Butler immediately drew a flag and then, to no one’s surprise, ejection from the game. Unbowed, Butler then took his frustrations out on the crowd, giving someone a middle finger on his way off the field.

Butler was already potentially on his way out of town but it seems hard to consider a good reason to keep him on the roster after this. The 2016 first-round pick has been mostly a bust for the Panthers, though he did come through for six sacks on the season. But has he done enough on the field to warrant sticking by him after doing something like this? That might be a bit too much to get past.

It’s been a tough season for Doyle and head safety. Earlier this season, he took a helmet-to-helmet hit from Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict, for which Burfict was suspended for the year. Now he gets punched in the head for no real reason. At least he had his helmet on.

About Sean Keeley

A graduate of Syracuse University, Sean Keeley is the creator of the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and author of 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse related things for SB Nation, Curbed,, and many other outlets. He currently lives in Chicago.