NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans running back Jackie Battle was the first player fined for delivering a hit with the crown of his helmet for a blow on Texans safety Danieal Manning in Houston on Sept. 15.
But the NFL accepted his defense and rescinded the $21,000 fine, Battle said.
"My biggest argument was the rule said you had to be clearly outside the tackle box and I wasn't clearly outside the tackle box," Battle said. "They agreed with me and that's how I won it."
The appeal amounted to one phone conversation, and Battle was notified of the decision in a letter from appeal executive and former NFL center Matt Birk. Battle read a section of the letter, written by Birk, to ESPN.com.
"During the telephone interview, several reasons were asserted to why the fine should be reduced or rescinded," the letter read. "Most notably it was argued that Mr. Battle was not clearly outside the tackle box when he allegedly made contact in violation of the rules. The video of the incident shows that Mr. Battle clearly initiated forcible contact to deliver a blow with the crown of his helmet against a Texans defender. However, I agree with Mr. Battle that he was not clearly outside of the tackle box when such forcible contact was made. Accordingly, I do not believe there is a clear-cut violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 of the NFL official playing rules."
Battle said now, as he did after the fine, he won't change the running style he's used during his career. He will put the money in savings, but admitted he "thought it was gone."