Will Isiah Pacheco be suspended by the NFL?

The Chiefs running back threw a punch at another player last Sunday which could incur some punishment from the NFL.
Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers
Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

No announcement has been made just yet, but it feels like the hammer should be falling sooner or later for Isiah Pacheco. Kansas City Chiefs are hoping that if it does, it's only a financial punishment and nothing more.

On Sunday evening in the team's most recent primetime contest, Pacheco decided to take a swing at Green Bay Packers cornerback Keisean Nixon in a late-game moment of frustration. It was a miserable night for the Chiefs overall as they lost their third game in five tries with an offense stuck in neutral and a defense limited by new injuries.

At some point, it all became too much for Pacheco, who decided to vent his emotions in a way that typically makes the NFL shake its head. Which is why we're all wondering if Pacheco will be fined or even suspended going forward.

The Chiefs running back threw a punch at another player last Sunday which could incur some punishment from the NFL.

In case you missed the episode between Pacheco and Nixon, here it is from Sunday Night Football:

Just like that, the Chiefs were without one of their most essential offensive players as officials tossed Pacheco for the rest of the game. Given that they were also down Jerick McKinnon on the injury list with a groin issue, which meant Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Deneric Prince held down the offensive backfield by themselves in crunch time. Not good.

That's a scenario the Chiefs will not want to repeat going forward, which is why the looming cloud over Pacheco's future is of such great interest. If the NFL levies a fine against Pacheco, that's good news—although not for his pocketbook. It's also possible, however, that the league decides to take things more seriously.

For anyone who sneers at the idea that Pacheco even could be suspended, remember that you're talking about an NFL that's inconsistent in the way it evaluates every single scenario like this. Players get suspended for far too long (or short) for random things at the whims of the powers that be.

Late last season, Denver Broncos defensive lineman Randy Gregory and L.A. Rams lineman Oday Aboushi were each suspended a single game for throwing punches at one another when the game got heated. Dallas Cowboys lineman Trystan Hill was suspended two games for punching Las Vegas Raiders lineman John Simpson in 2021, and Buffalo Bills lineman Bobby Hart had a single-game suspension for hitting a Titans coach last fall. Before that, Bears widout Javon Wims was suspended two games for punching Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson.

Earlier this year, however, San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams appeared to throw a punch at Detroit Lions lineman A'Shawn Robinson and wasn't even ejected. The same good fortune found Pittsburgh Steelers pass rusher Cam Heyward after he punched Justin Herbert in 2021.

In the end, how things will turn out is anyone's guess. There's a history laid out in recent years of the NFL's willingness to levy a suspension on a player throwing a punch at another. There's also a demonstrated history of shrugging its shoulders and moving on. What can the Chiefs expect from the league? No one can know for sure right now, but in the end, no one should be surprised at any action from the NFL—including the decision to take no action.

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