|Monday, September 16
Updated: September 17, 7:07 PM ET
Game stopped for several minutes by police spray
LANDOVER, Md. -- Monday night's game between the Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles was stopped briefly in the fourth quarter after police used pepper spray to break up a fight in the stands.
With 6:38 remaining in the game and Philadelphia leading 37-7 (the Eagles won by that score), the Eagles players scattered from the bench area and referee Bob McElwee announced that there was "some kind of a foreign substance sprayed on the Eagles sideline.'' Players and fans in the stands on that side of the field held their hands over their faces.
"Whenever you see your teammates coming out on the field and pretty much grabbing their throats or covering their nose, it's a pretty tough situation,'' Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb said.
"I've never been a part of anything like that. It's a first for me, it's probably a first for Monday night. Hopefully, it doesn't happen again.''
Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson said there was a disturbance in the fan area a few rows up behind the Philadelphia bench.
Michelle Tessier, the Redskins director of public relations, said Tuesday there were no injuries reported, and that no change in policy will be made. She said the police followed NFL security policy to the letter.
Swanson said a Prince George's County police officer intervened and that a "small amount of pepper spray'' was used to move the fans back. The cooling fans on the Philadelphia bench helped spread the spray quickly.
"The first guy that went down was Ike Reese,'' Philadelphia coach Andy Reid said. "He started barfing, and we all just followed right along. We just walked onto the field, and I just told them to keep going.''
Swanson initially said the officer was injured, but the Redskins later released a statement saying that the officer was not hurt.
No arrests were made.
The smell soon dissipated. After a delay of about eight minutes, McElwee announced that it was safe to resume the game, and the Eagles players returned to their bench.