Christian Kirksey and Julius Thomas have been awarded identical fines for their respective illegal hits last weekend. They will have to cough up $8,268 each.
Not much for an NFL player I know, but it is a standard fine for first time offenders.
Christian Kirksey's hit was on Jake locker. After the Titans quarterback had slid in for a touchdown, Kirksey came flying in late, and struck him with his forearm, causing Locker to leave the game. He would return but leave again with a hand injury.
Whether the hit was intentionally late or not, Locker thought it was a cheap shot:
"I thought I was clearly in the end zone,'' Locker said, according to the Plain Dealer. "I kind of thought it was a cheap shot. They were under my belt pretty good.''
Kirksey's lawyer has today revealed that his client will appeal the fine
Juilius Thomas' drew a bit more attention compared to Kirksey's hit, probably due to the reaction of Cardinals Head Coach, Bruce Arians.
Thomas hit Cardinals defensive end Calais Campell in the leg after the snap, attempting a block, that was subsequently flagged and called a 'chop block' by officials. The hit caused Campbell to sprain his ACL and the defensive star will miss some game time.
Arians was incensed by the hit, “That was the dirtiest play I’ve seen in 37 years.” A bit of an overreaction.
"You'll never convince me it wasn't premeditated," Arians continued. "The one guy set him up."
In fairness to Thomas - who is not considered a dirty player - he has apologized and wished Campbell a speedy recovery. "The main thing is there was no intention for anybody to be hurt on the play, and hopefully he'll be back soon."
Despite the cheap fine, there's no doubting that both hits were bad. Expect a larger fine if either Kirksey or Thomas are found guilty of another late hit.