Kansas City Chiefs running back Paul Palmer was suspended by Coach Frank Gansz because he threatened to purposely fumble a few balls during a game in order to embarrass his coaching staff, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Palmer was suspended after making a comment Saturday about "dropping a few balls on the carpet" Sunday in Kansas City's game against Pittsburgh, the Globe said, quoting unnamed sources.The comment was made by Palmer on a Chiefs team bus in Pittsburgh after other players were informed by C.T. Hewgley, the Chiefs' strength and weight coach, that they were being fined for being late to a team meeting earlier in the morning, the Globe said.

Although Palmer was not among those fined for being late, he made the comment after other players began criticizing both the fines and the coaching staff in general, the Globe said. Palmer's comment about fumbling, which he described as a way of ensuring that the team's coaching staff would be fired next season, was relayed by Hewgley to Gansz, the newspaper said.

Gansz, in suspending Palmer for the maximum of four games as allowed by NFL rules, did not state his reason publicly other than to describe it as being for conduct detrimental to the team. Kansas City lost the game to Pittsburgh, 16-10.

Palmer reportedly said afterward he was only joking when making the comment about fumbling, the Globe said.