Panthers DL Vernon Butler loses mind, punches Colts TE Jack Doyle, gets ejected, flips off fans

Frank Schwab

What has Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle done to upset defenders around the NFL?

Earlier this season, Doyle was on the receiving end of a helmet-to-helmet hit that got Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict suspended for the year. Then on Sunday, Doyle got punched by Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler for no apparent reason.

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At the end of a play Butler yanked on Colts lineman Mark Glowinski’s facemask, dragging him down and throwing him into Doyle, who seemed to be an innocent bystander. Butler then got up and punched Doyle right in the helmet.

Butler was ejected after officials reviewed the replay. He stormed around on the sideline before being led to the locker room. As Butler left, he gave the middle finger to Colts fans. As if the punch itself wasn’t going to be on the NFL’s radar for a possible suspension. The Panthers trailed 21-3 when Butler was ejected, as their late-season collapse continued. Carolina eventually lost Sunday, 38-6.

Butler apologized after the game and said he didn’t intend to hit Doyle, and thought he was Glowinski (Doyle wears 84, Glowinski 64), not that that makes the punch OK.

“It was a bang-bang play, a little extra going on,” he said. “I take full responsibility for it, it won’t happen again.”

He also apologized to the organization and his teammates.

Vernon Butler was ejected from Sunday's game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Vernon Butler was ejected from Sunday's game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Butler, a 2016 first-round pick, had been mostly a bust for the Panthers before this season. He has shown signs of life finally, with six sacks this year. But it seems like his season could be over after his crazy outburst.

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

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