When the National Footbal League means business, apparently they do indeed mean business. Len Pasquarelli of ESPN is reporting that the NFL has fined two Chicago Bears defenders for what they deemed “illegal hits” in the Bears’ loss to Minnesota last Monday night.
In the quest to reduce the “horse-collar” tackles, the league fined Bears cornerback Charles Tillman $7,500 for using the technique to drag down Vikings wide receiver Robert Ferguson. At the time of the infraction, Tillman wasn’t penalized; however, in the videotape analysis, the NFL determined that it was a horse-collar tackle and subject to a fine. Tillman managed somehow to avoid being fined for an earlier penalty in which he was flagged for an unnecessary roughness call on a tackle of Minnesota QB Tarvaris Jackson.
The other Bears player who was fined, linebacker Lance Briggs, was fined on a late hit on Jackson, in which Briggs hit Jackson late after a pass completion. Briggs was flagged for a personal foul on the play; it is not known – although I expect it to happen – whether either Tillman or Briggs will appeal their fines.