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The NFL fined Houston Texans linebacker Tim Dobbins $30,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit last Sunday on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
Cutler suffered a concussion on the play.
A scrambling Cutler had just dumped off a pass on third down at midfield when he got drilled, resulting in an unnecessary roughness penalty. Cutler, who was shaken up on the play, also got called for an illegal forward pass because he was beyond the line of scrimmage, and the Bears challenged that call but lost.
Dobbins claims that Cutler ran into him on the play.
"I did not hit him in his head, and actually he ran into me," Dobbins said, according to CSNChicago.com. "I just felt like he was going to take off and run with the ball and I thought he was past the line."
Dobbins was pleased he was able to knock Cutler out of the game.
"But it was good that he was out, though. I mean you always want to take the quarterback out of the game. I hit him in his chest. I did not hit him in his head. Nowhere near it. I did not touch his helmet."
Bears coach Lovie Smith said Cutler showed no symptoms of a concussion immediately after the hit, so the quarterback finished out the half. Symptoms showed up at intermission and Cutler wound up sitting out the second half, putting his status for next Monday's game at San Francisco in question.
Cutler will need to pass neurological and psychological tests and be cleared by both his team doctors and an independent neurological consultant before he can return.
Smith said Cutler "is getting better" Wednesday, but didn't shed much light on his potential availability for Monday night's game.
Information from ESPN.com AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, ESPNChicago.com's Michael C. Wright and The Associated Press was used in this report.