Pro Bowler Lechler Punched By Raider Teammate

By Joe Kukura
|  Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM PDT
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Pro Bowler Lechler Punched By Raider Teammate

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Pro-bowler Shane Lechler is punched by Raider teammate

Raider punter Shane Lechler, true to form, was a cannon in this weekend's Pro Bowl.

He kicked the third-longest punt in Pro Bowl history Sunday, and on top of that he happens to hold the records for the longest and second-longest punts in Pro Bowl history.

So we hoped you enjoyed seeing him representing the Raiders in Honolulu, because it's massively unlikely he'll be putting that Raider helmet on ever again.

The San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that Lechler was punched in the face by teammate Terdell Sands, a defensive lineman who has about a fifty pound advantage.

The incident took place after the two had an argument on the team flight following the Denver game last November 23.  Guys, you WON that game!

And seriously --  who punches a punter?!?

Most remarkable, though, is that Sands will apparently receive no discipline of any form.

Should Raider brass ever acknowledge the incident -- which they haven't yet -- but the Chronicle has five sources verifying the altercation took place.   I think we should expect some baloney about wanting to "handle it in-house."

That is unprecedented and stupid. Last season,

Carolina Panther Steve Smith punched a teammate and was suspended for two games. Why, even here in loony old Raider-ville there was a time when punching a teammate would at least merit a public apology.

Ethics aside, the team seems to have blundered by siding with the lousier player. Shane Lechler is a 4-time Pro Bowler who has the longest career punting average in league history. Sands is notoriously overweight and a journeyman on his fourth team -- including NFL Europe.

Lechler is now certain to wave the Raiders goodbye -- as of season's end, he's an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders could hit him with the franchise tag, but have to be more inclined to use it on corner back Nnamdi Asomugha.

And seriously -- who franchises a punter?!?

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