Friday's NFL: Lions' Blount fined $10K for hit off bench

Associated Press
Lions running back LeGarrette Blount

New York — Lions running back LeGarrette Blount picked up a $10,026 fine by the NFL on Friday for his actions midway through the fourth quarter of the Lions’ loss to San Francisco last weekend.

Blount was ejected for a personal foul penalty after he came off the sideline and shoved 49ers linebacker Elijah Lee to the ground. That came right after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was pushed out of bounds near the sideline.

Blount took exception to a hit he thought might have been a tad bit late — although Stafford was still in bounds on the play and no penalty was called.

Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo was also fined $53,482 for his hit during a play in Minnesota’s tie at Green Bay.

Sendejo was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after tackling Packers wide receiver Davante Adams in the third quarter. The safety knocked into Adams with his right shoulder just after Xavier Rhodes made initial contact.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said during his weekly radio show Wednesday that Sendejo was told by an official after the play that he did everything right on the tackle. It still resulted in a fine by the NFL, and it was a hefty one because Sendejo is considered a repeat offender.

Among those not fined Friday were Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks — both of whom were flagged for roughing the passer.

Atlanta safety Damontae Kazee was docked $10,026 for his hit on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton last Sunday that also drew an ejection.

Kazee apologized this week for hitting into the helmet of Newton, who was sliding feet-first on a play in the second quarter. Newton was quickly checked on the sideline before returning to the field.

Kazee, who made his second NFL start, said he needs to adjust to the new rule.

“I’ve got to learn to try to keep my head up when I tackle,” he said.

The play drew two other $10,026 fines: one on Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith for a retaliatory hit on Kazee, and another on the Falcons’ Takk McKinley for going after Smith.

Arizona safety Antoine Bethea was docked $20,054 for roughing the passer after a hit on Rams quarterback Jared Goff in the third quarter last Sunday.

Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram was also fined $20,054 for unnecessary roughness after he took down Buffalo rookie quarterback Josh Allen by his shoulder pads. Los Angeles teammate Desmond King must pay $10,026 for unsportsmanlike conduct after he taunted Bills wide receiver Zay Jones on an incomplete pass by waving “bye-bye” to him and making a kicking motion.

Houston linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has to pay a $10,026 fine for taunting from the sideline in the fourth quarter after getting into it with Titans tight end Luke Stocker.

Holding call

Browns coach Hue Jackson isn’t ready to “officially” make Baker Mayfield his starting quarterback.

Everyone else has.

Jackson said that he’ll wait until talking to his players before publicly announcing a decision that seems inevitable after Mayfield replaced injured starter Tyrod Taylor on Thursday night and led Cleveland to its first win since 2016. Taylor is in concussion protocol.

Mayfield, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, brought the Browns (1-1-1) back from a 14-0 deficit to win, 21-17, over the New York Jets and end a 19-game winless streak.

Jackson gave his players the weekend off and will wait until Monday before saying who will start at quarterback on Sept. 30 at Oakland. Jackson gave strong indication during a teleconference that he’ll go with Mayfield, telling reporters, “you guys all feel good about where things are headed.”

Mayfield completed 17 of 23 passed for 201 yards in just more than a half.

Personnel dept.

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will miss his second straight game with a knee injury, and Atlanta also will be without starting defensive end Takk McKinley when they host the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

... The Eagles won’t have running backs Jay Ajayi (back) and Darren Sproles (hamstring) for Sunday’s game against the Colts and Corey Clement (quadriceps) is questionable.

... Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas was at practice but did not take part because of reasons of a personal nature, according to coach Pete Carroll.

... The Titans still don’t know who will start at quarterback Sunday against the Jaguars. Marcus Mariota was limited all week with an arm injury and is questionable for the second straight game.