San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the league announced Wednesday.
That is the standard amount for such hits to the head and neck area.
Brooks leveled Drew Brees, forcing a lost fumble. But the penalty kept the ball in the Saints’ possession, and they soon kicked two field goals to win 23-20. The tackle left Brees with blood on his chin.
Brooks vehemently argued against the penalty, saying he didn’t use his hands or helmet and called it a “bear hug.” Brees labeled the hit a clothesline tackle.
Other players and ex-players have come to Brooks’ defense, essentially saying that because Brooks is taller than Brees, the linebacker’s hit was not an intentional head shot.
ESPN reporter Adam Schefter tweeted that Ray Lewis, the former Ravens star linebacker turned TV analyst, said when he sees Brooks on Monday, Lewis “will have a check in hand for half of the fine.”
The linebacker was fined $12,750 for a roughing-the-passer call against Aaron Rodgers during the season opener against Green Bay.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.