The NFL will not fine Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott for his celebration during Sunday night's game, the league announced Monday.
Elliott celebrated a two-yard touchdown run during the second quarter of the Cowboys' 27–20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by jumping into a large Salvation Army red kettle. Elliott was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Elliott had said that he would match any fine and donate the money to the Salvation Army if the league decided to impose a fine. He later said he would donate money to the charity anyway after learning he would not be fined.
Elliott explained why he decided to jump inside the kettle.
"I mean it's just sitting there right in the end zone, you know. It's the perfect celebration," Elliott said. "They're one of our biggest partners, so I had to show them a little bit of love."
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said that Elliott should not have done the celebration, but didn't seem overly upset.
"You have to understand what's legal and what's not legal," Garrett said. "You can jump into the stands in Green Bay, but you can't jump into a Salvation Army bucket in Dallas. You've got to be careful about snow angels. All of these different things that we do. So we have to be more mindful of that. I've got to coach that better."
Elliott ran 23 times for a season-high 159 yards against Tampa Bay and now has 1,551 rushing yards, by far the most in the NFL.
“Keep having fun, but just be mindful of those celebrations,” Elliott said. “We don’t want to put our special teams in a bad situation because that penalty did take back 15 yards. But the kickoff team had my back."
– Scooby Axson