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Bears DE Peppers reportedly fined for helmet hit on Rodgers

NEW YORK -- Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has been fined $10,000 by the NFL for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship game that drew blood from the Green Bay quarterback.

Two people familiar with the fine say Peppers was notified Wednesday by the league. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the fine has not been announced.

Peppers was flagged for roughing the passer on the play. Rodgers, who sustained two concussions during the season, was not hurt and remained in the game, which the Packers won 21-14.

Rodgers shot down speculation that he sustained another concussion on the Peppers hit and credited his helmet for potentially preventing another significant head injury. Rodgers switched helmets after sustaining two concussions earlier this season, although he has been hesitant to share details about how the new helmet might be safer.

"Not too much to talk about," Rodgers said. "I didn't have a concussion. I want to dispel that rumor. No concussion. I was fine. Yeah. Helmets are designed to prevent concussions, I think."

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said this week that Rodgers was sore, adding that all players have bumps and bruises at this point in the season.

Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said Rodgers' toughness is unquestioned.

"Unfortunately, he's been sacked a bunch since he started playing in '08 -- more times that we'd like to admit," Philbin said. "So I think his physical toughness has really never been in question. How this particular game compares to other games, I don't really have a good feel for. But certainly he's a tough, physical guy."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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