Bears, Lions hit to fine tune of $62.5K
By Sean Jensen firstname.lastname@example.org November 18, 2011 9:26PM
Bears cornerback D.J. Moore was fined $15,000 for striking Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford last Sunday at Soldier Field. | Nam Y. Huh~AP
Updated: December 20, 2011 8:08AM
Last Sunday’s game at Soldier Field between the Detroit Lions and Bears was an expensive one for six players, who were fined a combined $62,500 for various infractions.
Fortunately for many more players, though, the NFL didn’t consider a skirmish that erupted early in the fourth quarter on the Lions’ sideline to be a fight, or else players would’ve been docked significantly more money.
After he was intercepted by cornerback Tim Jennings, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ran toward the sideline to prevent him from scoring a touchdown. But cornerback D.J. Moore was trying to help his teammate, and Stafford pulled him down to the ground by his facemask.
Moore bounced up and lunged at Stafford, inciting several Lions to come to their quarterback’s defense, which, in turn, prompted Bears players to help their teammate, too.
Moore was penalized and ejected, and he was fined $15,000 for striking an opponent late. Stafford, meanwhile, was penalized $7,500 for “grabbing an opponent by the helmet opening,” according to a league spokesman.
Lions offensive lineman Rob Sims also was fined $7,500 for striking an opponent late.
There was more.
In the first quarter, Kyle Vanden Bosch was penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting running back Matt Forte after the whistle. He was fined $7,500 for “unnecessarily striking an opponent late.”
In the third quarter, Lions rookie defensive tackle Nick Fairley drilled quarterback Jay Cutler in the end zone, and he was penalized for the play. On Friday, the league announced that Fairley was fined $15,000 for “unnecessarily driving an opposing quarterback into the ground.”
But the league didn’t fine Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for ripping off Cutler’s helmet in the second quarter or Bears linebacker Lance Briggs for a hard hit on receiver Calvin Johnson in the fourth quarter — a play on which he was penalized.
Moore, listed as doubtful for the game Sunday against the San Diego Chargers with an ankle injury, wasn’t available for comment. But when one of his fans offered to make a contribution toward his fine, Moore said, “It’s fine. Do the crime, pay the fine.”
In addition, Bears receiver Earl Bennett was fined $10,000 for a uniform violation. He wore bright orange cleats for the second consecutive game.
Asked if he’ll wear them again — at a price of $20,000 — Bennett said, “It’s a game-time decision.
“Last week, I didn’t know I was going to wear them, and they came out.”
Moore is the only Bear on the active roster who might not play Sunday. But the Chargers already have ruled out receiver Malcom Floyd (hip), defensive end Luis Castillo (leg), o ffensive tackle Marcus McNeill (neck) and linebacker Shaun Phillips (foot). Cornerback Marcus Gilchrist (hamstring) and guards Tyronne Green (hand) and Louis Vasquez (ankle) are doubtful. Defensive tackle Antonio Garay (hip) and safety Darrell Stuckey (thigh) are questionable.
Power of 20
Numbers can be misleading. But apparently a magic number for Forte is 20 — as in every carry above it. He leads the league, averaging 6.06 yards after he has had 20 carries, according to STATS. But he only has topped that mark four times this season. Tennessee’s Chris Johnson is second with an average of 5.29 yards on each run after 20.