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Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Crowder, Light fined $15,000 each for verbal, physical confrontation

ESPN.com news services

New England Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light and Miami Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder have both been fined $15,000 by the NFL, but not suspended, for their roles in an on-field altercation during the Patriots' win at Miami on Sunday.

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Both players were fined the same amount for their verbal and physical confrontation. Both were ejected midway through the fourth quarter.

According to league sources, both players, in addition to game officials, were interviewed by the league office. It was determined that Crowder verbally instigated the confrontation, but both men were assessed equal fines.

"That matter is kind of a closed deal now," Light said after the decision was announced. "Obviously, I'm not happy with what my actions were and I don't think that was the way to go. But, in my mind, it's a closed deal now.

"They've made a decision on it and we're going to move forward and get ready to play a good Steelers team. I think that's where everybody's concentration should be right now and I think that's definitely where mine is at this point."

Light will be at his usual left tackle spot Sunday against Pittsburgh, which leads the AFC with 37 sacks.

"It'll be great to have Light out there and I'm happy they came up with that ruling," Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel said. "Especially as a quarterback, you love your left tackle and especially Matt Light. He's such a great player."

Light, an eight-year veteran, made the Pro Bowl the past two seasons.

The fight occurred after Light blocked Crowder, whose helmet fell off, on Stephen Gostkowski's 30-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter.

Miami's Matt Roth knocked down New England's Russ Hochstein, forcing Light backward and into Gostkowski. When Light got up, he and Crowder pushed each other in the face. Light then grabbed Crowder's dreadlocks in his left hand and hit him three times on the head with his right.

Crowder broke free and ran away with a huge grin. Both received personal foul penalties and were ejected. As they walked off, Light smiled and Crowder raised his hands to elicit cheers from his hometown fans.

ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.