The NFL has fined Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers $5,000 for an illegal hit on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.
It wasn’t the hit that knocked Stafford out for an undetermined number of weeks with a hit that reportedly gave him a separated right shoulder. Peppers was fined, according to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, for a hit that occurred during the first quarter when his hands got high and he struck Stafford in the top and back of the helmet.
“My hand got high. I'd do the same thing again,” Peppers said. “I'm coming around his body to swipe the ball, and my hand hit his head.''
The hit that knocked Stafford out was clean, and Peppers went to check on the quarterback after the game. He’s not going to let a small fine slow him down on the way to the passer.
“He was trying to strip the ball and in the process hit the helmet,'' coach Lovie Smith said. “Sometimes you're driving along and you don't know you're speeding. And when you get stopped, you say, 'Yes, I was speeding,' but it really wasn't on purpose. You just take the consequences.''
Stafford has been injured in two games vs. the Bears. Adewale Ogunleye was fined for a horse-collar violation in a game last season at Soldier Field when he pulled Stafford down from behind. The quarterback suffered a dislocated knee cap on the play.
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