After Steve Smith scored on a 54-yard touchdown reception Sunday, New Orleans safety Roman Harper came across the other side of the field and delivered a blow after Smith had crossed into the end zone.
As Smith spun the ball in celebration, several Panthers including offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton came running down the field to defend Smith and began shoving Harper. A few moments later players from both teams were involved in an all-out scuffle and had to be separated by officials.
Harper was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, but no other flags were thrown for the mini-brawl.
After the game, coach Ron Rivera applauded his players for sticking up for Smith.
"I was very pleased because you are coming into our place and you are going to come after one of our guys," Rivera said. "We are most certainly not going to take it. That's just the way it is.
"I know some guys will get some letters and some fines and all that stuff. But you know what: There is no place for that in this league.
(Harper) may have gotten a little overzealous and hit Steve in the back, but I was proud to see our guys react that way. We are not going to take it. Like I said before, we may be the little brothers and we may get punched around a little bit but we are not going to take it. We are going to fight back. I was very proud of them for that."