Turns out Ryan Taylor's block on Arizona safety Rashad Johnson has cost the Green Bay Packers' second-year tight end some cash.
The NFL has fined Taylor $21,000 for his impactful hit on Johnson two weeks ago against the Cardinals, a league spokesperson has confirmed. It occurred on a Randall Cobb 28-yard punt return in the Packers' eventual 31-17 win entering the bye week.
The league ruled Taylor delivered an illegal blindside block to Johnson, who was pursing an angle to Cobb on the first-quarter punt return when he was leveled by Taylor.
Johnson, who didn’t appear to be aware of Taylor’s presence, was laid out on the play and stayed on the ground for several minutes before leaving the game.
Despite the impact of the block, it appeared to be clean in the midst of the game. Taylor squared up well and wasn’t flagged for the play, which then drew a small ovation from the Lambeau Field crowd.
“It was a big play,” said Packers special-teams coach Shawn Slocum of the hit during the bye week. “There were a number of good blocks on that play. That one was impactful because it was a physical play, but I thought the blocks and return were energizing.”
Coincidently, Johnson was fined $21,000 last month for a similar hit on Minnesota’s John Carlson, who missed the following week’s game with concussion-like symptoms after enduring Johnson’s block that also came on a punt.
Taylor, a second-year tight end out of North Carolina known for his work on special teams, has a base salary of $465,000 this year, meaning the fine docks him approximately 4.5 percent of his earnings for this season or roughly 76.7 percent of his weekly game check.
It ranks among the stiffest fines a Packers’ player has faced this year. Last month, rookie linebacker Nick Perry was fined $15,000 for his hit on Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck.
The Packers’ offense lost six yards on the ensuing drive, but it was enough to set up a 44-yard field goal by Mason Crosby, who then missed the kick.
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