NFL makes example of Denver coaches

DENVER -- John Fox and Jack Del Rio will be examples to coaches around the NFL.

The league has warned coaches not to be too hard on replacement officials and it apparently means business. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Fox, Denver’s head coach, and Del Rio, Denver’s defensive coordinator, will be fined by the league for their actions in a 27-21 loss to Atlanta on Monday night. Schefter reports the NFL plans to fine the pair up to $20,000 each.

Schefter reports the league called the Georgia Dome at halftime to get the message to the two coaches to tone it down a few notches. Fox and Del Rio were both furious at the replacement officials, especially during a chaotic first quarter that took an hour to play in front of a national audience.

That game was considered to be a prime example of why the lockout of the permanent officials needs to end. Fox and Del Rio’s actions didn’t make the replacements look good and they will pay for it.

I wonder if the two coaches will restrain themselves if the officiating gets out of hand later Sunday when the Broncos host Houston. I’ll be there. I’ll let you know if it looks like Fox and Del Rio will be dipping into their pockets again.

In other AFC West news:

Starting safety Kendrick Lewis is among the Chiefs’ inactive players at New Orleans on Sunday. He has been out since the second preseason game with a shoulder injury. Barring a setback, he has a strong chance to play against San Diego next week.

The Chargers signed cornerback Greg Gatson from the practice squad and cut offensive lineman Reggie Wells. They did the same thing last week and then signed Wells on Monday and cut Gatson. I could see the same swap happening Monday.