Defensive ends Phillip Daniels of the Washington Redskins and Ray Edwards of the Minnesota Vikings were each fined $5,000 by the NFL for what was considered illegal or excessive contact against quarterbacks in last week's games.
At the same time, the NFL absolved of culpability a pair of defenders who authored two of the highest profile hits on quarterbacks last week, with no fines levied against Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson or Atlanta defensive end Chauncey Davis.
A third-quarter hit by Davis on the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger, which appeared to be helmet-to-helmet contact, knocked the Pittsburgh quarterback from the game with a concussion. A low hit by Henderson left Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck with a strained medial collateral ligament that will sideline him for about three weeks.
The play for which Daniels was fined occurred with 9:28 remaining in the second quarter of the Redskins' loss at Indianapolis. On the first-and-10 play, Washington defensive end Andre Carter hit Colts quarterback Peyton Manning low and Daniels hit him near the head on an incomplete pass intended for tailback Joseph Addai.
The force of the contact by Daniels knocked Manning's helmet off and left the Indianapolis star bloodied and woozy.
"The guy wouldn't let go of my head," said Manning, who was bent back violently by the impact. "I looked at my helmet to see if my head was in it."
No penalty was assessed on the play. Manning called a timeout, to avoid having to come out of the game, and did not miss a snap.
Edwards drew a 15-yard personal foul flag for his fourth-quarter hit on Seattle quarterback Seneca Wallace, who had replaced Hasselbeck in the game. Wallace completed a 12-yard pass to wide receiver Deion Branch on the play, came up limping, but remained in the game.
The earlier play in the Minnesota-Seattle game, which knocked Hasselbeck from the contest, did not merit a fine, the NFL said, because Henderson was blocked into the Seahawks' quarterback. Because of the block by Seattle fullback Mack Strong, league officials ruled, Henderson could not avoid the contact with Hasselbeck's knee.