Source: Commanders punish players for drinking

The Washington Commanders disciplined a handful of players for violating a league rule about drinking on a team plane, but the league will take no further action, a source confirmed to ESPN on Friday.

The NFL sent a memo to every team Friday afternoon from commissioner Roger Goodell, reminding them of the rule and that any violations would result in “significant discipline.” After the Tennessee Titans’ win over the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested for DUI early Friday.

Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke was among the handful of players shown on video with alcohol following Monday’s win at Philadelphia. On the team plane, players mimicked Minnesota’s celebration with its quarterback Kirk Cousins by placing chains around Heinicke’s neck. He was shown holding Busch Light beer.

On Tuesday morning, Washington coach Ron Rivera called the league to inform them his disciplinary plans. He then addressed it in a team meeting. It’s uncertain what disciplinary action he took.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “The league reviewed the matter this week and we are satisfied with the discipline administered by the club. There will be no further action taken by the league.”

The Commanders did not supply the alcohol, a source said.

According to the source, the memo stated, “In light of recent events, clubs are reminded that League policy prohibits alcoholic beverages, including beer, in the locker rooms, practice or office facilities, or while traveling on team buses or planes at any time during the preseason, regular season, or postseason. This applies to all players, coaches, club personnel, and guests traveling with your team.”

The memo reminded teams that the policy had been in place for many years.

“Making alcohol available at club facilities or while traveling creates significant and unnecessary risks to the League, its players, coaches and others,” the statement read. “Violations of this important policy will be taken seriously and will result in significant discipline.

“Each club should ensure that its travel arrangements do not include providing alcohol service at any time and should also take appropriate steps to confirm that alcohol (whether beer or any other alcoholic beverage) is not available at its facility.”

After Monday’s win, Washington’s young players celebrated with gusto in the locker room — blaring music, dancing and singing. While Rivera said he appreciated their energy, he wants them to behave differently after wins.

“We’ve not arrived by any means,” Rivera said Tuesday. “The best thing it shows that this is the first time they’ve been there. People tell you act like you’ve been there, well, I’m going to give them a little grief for that. I get it. I appreciate the energy and the excitement now we have to understand, act like you’ve been there, because now they’ve been there.”

NFL Network first reported news of the Commanders’ discipline.

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