In case you wanted to know what was going on between Justin Tucker and two of the Kansas City Chiefs' biggest stars before the AFC Championship game on Sunday, it appears the Baltimore Ravens kicker isn't quite sure himself.
Shortly before the Chiefs and Ravens took the field to decide AFC supremacy at M&T Bank Stadium, Tucker was warming up where the Chiefs players were also designated to do so. As a kicker, Tucker had special equipment in the area, and Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes took exception.
After the duo exchanged some words, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce came over and removed Tucker's equipment for him by tossing his football and helmet to the side.
Suddenly fans and even analysts weren't sure what to think.
On Monday, Tucker himself expressed two sentiments about the event: A.) that he believes the whole thing is overblown, and B.) that things were more serious than he thought.
"I find it kind of silly that we’re even having to address it or talk about something that happened before the game that I really don’t see as a big deal. I think if you see the whole interaction and then you see us at the coin toss, we’re all dapping each other up and then we just get on with the football game," said Tucker.
The Ravens' Pro Bowl kicker then explained why he was even in the Chiefs' designated area in the first place.
For those that don’t know, the way it works is that each team’s kicker goes to the other team’s designated warm-up area on the field. For me, it’s usually about 90 minutes before kickoff. I’ve been doing the exact same thing for 12 years and never really had a problem with anybody.
"...I saw Patrick there trying to warm up and get some dropbacks. He asked me while I was on the ground stretching if I could move my helmet. I happily got up and I moved my helmet out of the way — at least I thought it was enough out of the way. And then Travis comes over and just kicks my stuff, throws my helmet. I thought it was all just some gamesmanship, all in good fun but they seemed to be taking it a little more seriously. I’m totally willing to let it all go, but it’s what I’ve done for 12 years."
It all just goes to show just how intense NFL playoff environments can be—even in smaller interactions like this one between rivals.