Seahawks’ Earl Thomas Returns Fumble for TD, Gets Unsportsmanlike Penalty for Hugging Ref

By 

(Photo: Getty Images)

Two weeks ago, Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas punched someone in the face on the football field.

On Sunday he did the exact opposite. And unlike his punch of the Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman, this time his actions cost him a penalty.

In the first quarter of his team's tilt against the New Orleans Saints, Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril busted a fumble from the hands of Saints back Mark Ingram. Thomas found the pigskin and delivered it to the end zone.

And he was so excited about it, he celebrated by hugging an official.

His warm embrace resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty enforced between downs.

Here are some things we've learned football players can't do this season: dance, pay harmless tributes to the deceased, and now hug refs.

Despite playing five quarters of football to a tie a week ago, Thomas and the Seattle defense have proven capable against Drew Brees and the Saints' potent passing attack. Through two quarters, the 4-1-1 Seahawks lead the 2-4 Saints 14-13.