The NFL has fined New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas $30,000 for using a cellphone as a prop and having a mobile device in the bench area, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Thomas brought back former Saints receiver Joe Horn's memorable 2003 celebration by retrieving a hidden cellphone from around the bottom of a goalpost. Horn was also fined $30,000 for his celebration 15 years ago, but that had been his second violation of the season.
Thomas' cellphone celebration followed a 72-yard touchdown catch that sealed the Saints' 45-35 victory over the then-unbeaten Rams and gave Thomas 12 catches for 211 yards. Thomas was penalized for the celebration.
Asked if someone helped plant the phone, Thomas said, "Um, I think someone... I think Joe Horn left it."
"I paid a tribute to him, tried to get the crowd going a little bit more, set the tone, have fun out there, giving people a show," Thomas said. "You gotta have fun. All these guys just catching touchdowns and celebrating with each other, having fun, getting the crowd involved. I felt like I had an opportunity to make it happen, put the game away and make a call."
Horn told ESPN the gesture "absolutely" meant a lot to him. Horn said he texted Thomas and "thanked him for doing what most athletes in his position would never do."
ESPN's Mike Triplett contributed to this report.