Chicago Bears WR Anthony Miller bites on C.J. Gardner-Johnson taunt, gets ejected in playoff loss

Anthony Miller became the latest Chicago Bears wide receiver to fall victim to the instigating tactics of New Orleans Saints defensive back C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

The Bears -- already minus rookie wide receiver Darnell Mooney -- lost Miller for the rest of Sunday's playoff game inside the Superdome when the third-year wideout was ejected in the third quarter for taking a shot at Gardner-Johnson after the whistle. Chicago lost 21-9 after amassing just 239 total yards.

Miller was in the process of walking back to the Bears' sideline following an incomplete pass when Gardner-Johnson approached Miller from behind and said something that caused Miller to shove him.

The incident was a talking point in the postgame availabilities, and Gardner-Johnson even posted some commentary on Twitter, mentioning that Miller had just a pair of receptions for just 22 yards in the loss as a potential source of his frustration.

The officials also flagged Gardner-Johnson for unsportsmanlike conduct, but only Miller was disqualified from the game.

"Every action has a reaction, and so I think it's a valuable one, especially when we're low with numbers at the wide receiver position, and the value of that Zebra position for us," Bears coach Matt Nagy said. "And so again, it's something where our guys -- we've all got to understand -- we've got to be stronger and we can't have that happen, and we've got to understand that.

"We just can't have it."

On Nov. 1, when the Bears and Saints met in the regular season, Chicago wide receiver Javon Wims was ejected for attacking and punching Gardner-Johnson, who earlier in that game had taunted Wims and ripped the young wideout's mouthpiece off his helmet.

Wims, who dropped a sure touchdown pass on a trick play in the first half of Sunday's game, received a multi-game suspension from the NFL and the Bears for hitting Gardner-Johnson.

Gardner-Johnson shrugged off questions after the game about what happened in the incident or whether he was intentionally trying to get a rise out of the Bears.

"We won," Gardner-Johnson said.

When asked if he thought the Bears' receivers were trying to get a rise out of him, Gardner-Johnson said, "It was pretty quiet. We're here to win a football [game], we're not here to do anything else. Like Coach [Sean] Payton said, 'Just stay focused.' I'm not worried about nothing else, I'm out here to help my teammates. I'm not here to be an individual. So, I'm glad we got the win, a great team win on both sides of the ball, and just ready to continue playing."

Payton and Saints defensive backs coach Aaron Glenn have both talked about the fine line between Gardner-Johnson playing with an edge but not crossing the line. Saints cornerback Marshon Lattimore said the rest of the secondary feeds off of Gardner-Johnson's energy.

"I tell him to turn me up all the time," Lattimore said. "He's the one that's getting in people's heads. We need that, we're playing defense. Whatever we gotta do to win."

Lattimore also acknowledged that he was laughing next to Wims in the end zone after Wims dropped a potential wide-open scoring pass in the first half.

"I was glad he dropped it. I was laughing. He should've caught it, it's the playoffs," Lattimore said. "Him doing that to Duce [punching Gardner-Johnson in their previous meeting], so, of course I'm gonna laugh."

Saints star Michael Thomas also punched Gardner-Johnson in practice in October, earning the wide receiver a one-game suspension from New Orleans coach Sean Payton.

ESPN Staff Writer Mike Triplett contributed to this report.