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Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians fined $50,000 for striking one of his players

Arians was caught on camera slapping Andrew Adams in the helmet during the Buccaneers' wild-card playoff victory over Philadelphia.

The NFL fined Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians $50,000 for slapping and elbowing one of his players during a playoff game over the weekend, officials said Wednesday.

The ugly incident unfolded Sunday in the third quarter in Tampa, Florida, after the Bucs recovered a muffed punt, which they cashed in for a touchdown and a 24-0 lead over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.

After the recovery, Arians could be seen slapping Andrew Adams in the helmet and directing an elbow into his shoulder.

The league's website first reported the fine Wednesday. An NFL spokesman confirmed the $50,000 penalty.

Arians was asked this week whether he had any regrets about the encounter. He firmly said: "No."

Arians said Adams was unnecessarily mixing it up with Eagles players and could have cost the Bucs a 15-yard penalty.

"I've seen enough dumb [things]," Arians told reporters. "You can't pull guys out of a pile. We just got a big play, great field position, and he's trying to pull a guy out of a pile, and I was trying to knock him off that guy so he didn't get a penalty."

However, replays of the incident showed that Arians went after Adams as he was walking backward, away from Philadelphia's Marcus Epps — and with down judge Patrick Turner clearly between the two players.

A spokesman for the NFL Players Association declined to comment on the fine Wednesday.

NBC football analyst Chris Simms said: "It's not a great look. It's 2021. You don't see stuff like that happen anymore."

Simms offered a mild a defense of Arians, 69.

"I know it doesn't fly anymore," Simms told Mike Florio of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk on Tuesday. "But I also think there's a faction of the old-school football world, myself included, where I grew up in an era, and you did, too, where the head high school coach, he smacked you in the head at times. He grabbed your face mask and told you what an effing idiot you were. That's kind of the old-school football world. We've lost that in the last 10 or 15 years But that's the school he's from a little bit."

The defending champion Bucs play host to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday at 3 p.m. ET in a game that will be broadcast on NBC and streamed on Peacock.

The winner will take on the winner of Saturday night's Green Bay-San Francisco contest in the NFC title game a week from Sunday.