Tennessee Titans running back Jackie Battle was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness, using the crown of his helmet on a would-be tackler in Sunday's loss to the Houston Texans, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday.
The rule, sometimes referred to as the "Trent Richardson Rule," was enacted this offseason. The rule makes it illegal for offensive or defensive players to lower the crown of their helmet outside the tackle box.
"I didn't expect it," Battle told Titan Insider. "I thought it was a perfectly legal play. I've been running like that my whole career, so I didn't think they'd get me for it. It came yesterday. I couldn't even eat lunch. It made me sick."
There was much consternation, especially within the running back community, after the rule was passed.
"I'm not changing my style one bit," Battle continued. "I'm a physical runner. I've got to protect myself. If somebody's gonna go low on me, I've got to get low too. The low man wins. I'm not gonna change the way I run one bit."
To our knowledge, Battle is the first running back fined for violation of the new rule.
» Rapoport also reported that Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans was fined $21,000 for striking a defenseless receiver (the San Diego Chargers' Malcom Floyd) in the head/neck area with his shoulder, according to a league source.
» New York Jets offensive lineman Willie Colon was fined $34,125 total for two separate violations. He was fined $26,250, for unnecessary physical contact with an official and $7,875 for striking an opponent with his fist.
» Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenders Adrian Clayborn and Ahmad Black were both fined $21,000, while safety Dashon Goldson was fined $100,000 on Wednesday for an illegal hit on Saints running back Darren Sproles. That's a total of $142,000 in fines for Bucs players.