Bears' Tommie Harris Ejected for Punch
The incident occurred just four plays into the contest. Lutui, who was blocking Harris on a running play, was lying face down on the Soldier Field turf when Harris grabbed him, lifted him slightly and landed an uppercut to Lutui's facemask.
The punch occurred right in front of referee Ed Hochuli, who immediately threw a flag. Harris was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and tossed.
After the game, free safety Danieal Manning said Harris apologized to the team.
"We understood," Manning said. "I've been ejected before; it was high school. You've just got to try to get away from the guy when you can, but we understand where Tommie was coming from. I think the guy was shoving him, but I really don't know."
Harris, who had been suffering from a knee injury, was unexpectedly inactive two weeks ago for Chicago's loss in Cincinnati. Bears general manager Jerry Angelo declared Harris healthy a couple of days prior to that game, then called Harris out after he sat.
Harris later said that his knee wasn't why he missed the game, leading to some speculation that head coach Lovie Smith had benched his starting defensive tackle in hopes of motivating him. Harris has just nine tackles and no sacks this season, despite starting seven games, counting Sunday's brief cameo.
"I know the result," Smith said. "There's nothing Tommie can really tell me."
The NFL will no doubt take a second look at Harris' haymaker on Lutui, and a suspension seems probable. Chicago plays again Thursday at San Francisco.