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Danny Amendola fined for hit during punt return

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots receiver Danny Amendola was fined $23,152 on Friday by the NFL for a blindside block on Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming, which he plans to appeal.

Amendola was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness for hitting Fleming in the second quarter of Saturday's divisional-round playoff game. Fleming was attempting to catch a high-arcing punt near the goal line when Amendola, one of the Patriots' punt returners, delivered a forceful hit.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick defended Amendola, calling it a legal play.

"I saw him block the guy trying to down the ball," Belichick said earlier this week. "It's hard to tell from the coaching film where the hit occurred, but it was a legal play. We're allowed to block him; he didn't give a fair-catch signal."

After the game, Amendola said, "I thought it was a clean hit. We're coached to do that. It's a big play if I block that guy and the ball bounced in the end zone and we get the ball on the 20-yard line."