Titans' Battle 1st RB fined for helmet hit
Docked $21K US by NFL
The New York Jets and New England Patriots were fined a combined $88,500 US by the NFL from their game last week that included a late sideline skirmish.
The fourth-quarter melee was set off by New York centre Nick Mangold's low hit on New England's Aqib Talib after an interception that sealed the Patriots' 13-10 victory.
Jets right guard Willie Colon led the way with $34,125 in fines — $26,250 for contact with an official, and $7,875 for punching an opponent. Colon said Thursday he planned to appeal the fine, saying it "was way more than I expected."
Jets left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson was fined $15,000 for punching a Patriots player, while New England's Michael Buchanan, Alfonzo Dennard and Vince Wilfork were docked $7,875 each for throwing punches. Mangold was not fined, and Talib said earlier this week that he didn't think the hit was dirty.
Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones was also fined $15,750 for hitting Jets quarterback Geno Smith in the head and neck area.
Tennessee's Jackie Battle was fined $21,000, becoming the first running back docked for lowering the crown of his helmet into an opponent. He hit Houston's Danieal Manning — violating a new rule in effect this season — on a play during the Texans' 30-24 overtime victory last Sunday, but was not penalized on the field.
According to the rule, Article 8, it's a foul if "a runner or tackler initiates forcible contact by delivering a blow with the top/crown of his helmet against an opponent when both players are clearly outside the tackle box."
"I didn't expect it," Battle said, adding that he was appealing. "I thought it was a perfectly legal play. I've been running like that my whole career, so I didn't think they'd get me for it. It came yesterday. I couldn't even eat lunch.
"It made me sick."
The NFL also fined Washington safety Brandon Meriweather $42,000 earlier this week for driving his helmet into the chin of Green Bay running back Eddie Lacy, who suffered a concussion. Meriweather later left the game after giving himself a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers running back James Starks.
Other big fines announced earlier in the week included Titans safety Bernard Pollard and Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson each being docked $42,000 for hits. Pollard, who said he is appealing, left Andre Johnson with a concussion after he helped knock him out of bounds near the goal line late in regulation.
Jackson left his feet and hit Titans receiver Kendall Wright in the head. Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Tampa Bay's Dashon Goldson had his one-game suspension lifted earlier this week for hitting New Orleans' Darren Sproles in the head, but was fined $100,000. The Buccaneers had two others fined this week, though: $21,000 each to safety Ahmad Black and defensive end Adrian Clayborn for illegal hits.
Black had a late hit on Saints tight end Jimmy Graham that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty. Clayborn was penalized by the league for a helmet-to-helmet hit on quarterback Drew Brees.
Philadelphia linebacker DeMeco Ryans was also fined $21,000 for his hit to the head and neck area of San Diego wide receiver Malcom Floyd, who was carted off the field and taken to a hospital. Floyd didn't practice all week and will miss at least Sunday's game at Tennessee.
Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman was docked $15,750 for a horse-collar tackle of Minnesota wide receiver Greg Jennings.
Tennessee centre Robert Turner and Washington offensive lineman Will Montgomery were each fined $10,000 for illegal peel-back blocks.
Cleveland linebacker Paul Kruger was fined $7,875 for pulling off an opponent's helmet, while Washington long snapper Nick Sundberg was docked $7,875 for unnecessary roughness when he hit Green Bay's M.D. Jennings during a skirmish on a punt.