Panthers' Martin fined $5K for hit that concussed Giants' Boss

Carolina Panthers safety Sherrod Martin delivered the hit that gave New York Giants tight end Kevin Boss a concussion.

Now Martin has to pay for it.

A league source told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Friday that Martin has been fined $5,000 by the league for unnecessary roughness. Boss was injured on the first offensive drive in the Giants' season-opening victory over the Panthers.

The league ruled that while Martin used his shoulder and not his head, he hit a defenseless player in the head area, which has become a point of emphasis.

While he wouldn't comment on the severity of Boss' concussion, Giants coach Tom Coughlin ruled the tight end out of Sunday night's matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

Coughlin had previously voiced his displeasure that a penalty wasn't assessed on the play.

Travis Beckum will start in place of Boss. The Giants signed tight end Bear Pascoe off their practice squad Tuesday for depth.

Elsewhere around the league:

» Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has been fined $5,000 by the NFL for an illegal hit on Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Sunday's 19-14 victory, according to the *Chicago Tribune*.

Peppers, a five-time Pro Bowl pick, was fined for his first-quarter collision with Stafford. Peppers made contact with Stafford's helmet on the play.

"I'm not going to appeal that," Peppers said. "My hand got high. I'd do the same thing again. I'm coming around his body to swipe the ball, and my hand hit his head."

The hit in question isn't the same one that knocked Stafford out of the game with a banged-up right shoulder -- his third injury in two seasons. That hit occurred late in the first half when Stafford was hit in the shoulder by Peppers as he dropped back to pass and landed on it, the ball coming loose in the process.

Peppers spoke with Stafford after the game to check on the quarterback's status.

"He was trying to strip the ball and in the process hit the helmet," Bears coach Lovie Smith said. "Sometimes you're driving along and you don't know you're speeding. And when you get stopped, you say, 'Yes, I was speeding,' but it really wasn't on purpose. You just take the consequences."

» The Arizona Cardinals' official team site reported that defensive lineman Darnell Dockett has been fined $5,000 for tweeting inside 90 minutes of kickoff. Twenty minutes before the start of the Cardinals' season opener against the Rams, Dockett tweeted, "Amen."

After learning of the fine, Dockett took to his Twitter page to muse over his costly four-letter message.

"I got fined $5,000 for tweeting inside 90 minutes of kickoff. And the reporters/media are just now knowing they late as hell LOL!"

The Cardinals' team site also reported that defensive lineman Calais Campbell has been fined $5,000 for a hit on Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford.

» Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff has been fined $5,000 for his roughing-the-passer penalty committed against Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb last week in a violation of the "Brady Rule," according to *The Dallas Morning News*.

The league ruled Ratliff "unnecessarily struck the quarterback in the knee area" as he dove at McNabb's legs while the quarterback was completing a pass to Santana Moss. The incident prompted coach Wade Phillips to say Monday, "The guy pushed him from the back, and even if he pushes you, you've got to stay up."

The NFL put an emphasis on such a play after Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was lost for the season during the 2008 opener with a knee injury.

» Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Phil Loadholt was fined $10,000 for two unnecessary-roughness violations committed last Thursday, a league source told La Canfora.

Loadholt was called for a facemask penalty during the second quarter on the same play that New Orleans Saints linebacker Marvin Mitchell was cited for a facemask. The penalties were offsetting but not seen as equal because Mitchell wasn't fined.

Loadholt was called for another facemask in the fourth quarter, this time while playing left tackle in place of the injured Bryant McKinnie.

» The *Houston Chronicle* reported that Texans running back Arian Foster and cornerback Glover Quin have been fined $5,000 each for what the NFL calls unnecessary roughness during Sunday's 34-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Foster was fined because he reached out and grabbed Colts safety Antoine Bethea's facemask near the end of a 42-yard run in the fourth quarter. Foster wasn't penalized on the play.

Quin was penalized 15 yards for hitting Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne. The officials and the NFL said Quin hit Wayne when the receiver was in a defenseless position.

Earlier this week, Quin was fined $5,000 by the league for a uniform violation -- not wearing his socks correctly.

» *The Denver Post* reported that Broncos defensive end Ryan McBean has been fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness for the first of his two facemask penalties in last week's game at Jacksonville.

McBean twice grabbed Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew by the facemask on a fourth-quarter drive. Both penalties resulted in 15-yard penalties and automatic first downs on what ultimately was the game-winning drive for Jacksonville.

» *The Boston Globe* reported that New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung has been fined $5,000 for striking an opponent late in Sunday's victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

» Tennessee Titans linebacker Stephen Tulloch has been fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness, a league source told La Canfora. Tulloch was called for a horse-collar tackle against an Oakland Raiders player Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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