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Sideline incident leads to $15K fine for Panthers DE Brayton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the second time in a week, a fine has been levied for sideline contact during a punt return.

Carolina defensive end Tyler Brayton was fined $15,000 by the NFL for hitting Atlanta's Chris Owens out of bounds in last week's game. The fine was levied Friday, but not made public.

Also last Sunday, New York Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi stuck out his knee and tripped Miami's Nolan Carroll. Alosi was suspended indefinitely by the team and fined $25,000.

Brayton was not available to speak after Carolina's 19-12 win over Arizona on Sunday.

"We looked at it and addressed it with the team," coach John Fox said. "We don't condone it. We don't coach it. Anything other than that, you'll have to ask Tyler. I was made aware that there was a fine involved. We don't announce fines."

Brayton hit Owens in the head after the Falcons player was forced off the field. Fox Sports showed a video of the incident from Week 14. The grainy coaches film shows Brayton walking up from the bench area toward the field as Owens is engaged with a Carolina defender. Brayton then drops Owens with what appears to be an elbow to the head.

"I was like 'Wow, that's kind of messed up.' It kind of went unknown, unseen until we saw the film. I've moved on," Owens said.

These incidents are unusual, yet both happened on the same day.

The Jets' incident appears to have been somewhat orchestrated.

At first, Alosi was suspended for the rest of the season, but then acknowledged he told five inactive players to stand next to each other for the punt return during which he tripped Carroll.

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That was information Alosi did not initially volunteer, according to Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum.

"Over the course of the next couple of days, more information came out that really doesn't sit well with us," Tannenbaum said.

Coach Rex Ryan and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff both have denied they ordered anyone to do what Alosi told the players.

"It caught me off guard," Ryan said.

Panthers tackle Jordan Gross didn't see similarities in the plays.

"He was way deep on the sideline," Gross said of Brayton. "You get fined and you pay your money and you move on. It hasn't really been a big deal around here.

"Punts are a crazy play. Guys go flying into the sidelines and hit referees with the sticks, plow over coaches. It's just messy. I'm sure that's gone on more than it hasn't. I think it was just coincidental it was on the same week as that tripping thing."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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