Clay Matthews hopes to avoid fine
When the Green Bay Packers return to work, there could a white envelope with NFL stationery waiting for linebacker Clay Matthews inside his locker.
Matthews drew an unnecessary roughness penalty for making contact with Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler's head on a would-be sack in Sunday's 55-14 rout of the Bears, which is a finable offense.
Matthews received two fines during the 2013 season. The first, a late hit on San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Week 1, was originally for $15,750 but later reduced to $7,500.
His second, roughing Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles in Week 10, was for the same amount, but it was later revoked after the NFL ruled Matthews didn't hit him with his head. Matthews said the only other fine he was levied came in 2010 when he was docked $5,000 for grabbing Cutler's face mask.
There could be more on the way.
"You know how it is now with the league and the protection of quarterbacks," Matthews said. "There's a fine line between him ducking his head and becoming a runner, and a blow to the head, which is what they ruled it. That being said, I don't know, we'll see."
The Packers have done a pretty good job with penalties this year. At the midway point, there has only been one known fine levied on a Packers player by the league (tight end Andrew Quarless for grabbing New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson's facemask in a Week 2 scuffle).
Other than that, the only other known NFL deduction was against Julius Peppers for a uniform infraction relating to his game shoes.
"Hope so," said Matthews when asked if he can avoid a fine. "He's obviously turned into a runner at that point, lowering his head and going into it. At the same time, I didn't hit him against the neck. (San Francisco's Ahmad) Brooks didn't win that challenge against (New Orleans quarterback Drew) Brees last year."
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