Matthews mum on fine; plans to play hard

Weston Hodkiewicz
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Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) and nose tackle Letroy Guion (98) hit St. Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles (5) during Sunday's game at Lambeau Field

Clay Matthews wouldn't say whether he was fined for his hit on St. Louis quarterback Nick Foles in the first quarter of Sunday’s 24-10 win over the Rams.

“I’ll let you guys do your research,” Matthews said at his locker Wednesday.

The Green Bay Packers linebacker appeared to lead with his helmet during the Rams’ second offensive series, hitting Foles square in the chest. FOX rules analyst Mike Pereira and St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher both felt he should’ve been flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play. Pereira added that a fine could be possible since he led with the crown of his helmet.

If the NFL did indeed fine Matthews — players typically are told midweek — it will be the second time he’s received league stationery for a hit on Foles. He previously was fined $15,750 for a roughing the passer penalty on Foles in Week 10 of the 2013 season, but it was rescinded upon appeal.

Matthews, who also was fined for a hit on San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick in 2013, was docked $22,000 for a blindside block on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson in last January’s NFC championship game.

Matthews said he wasn’t trying to intentionally hurt Foles, but he also doesn’t plan to change how he plays.

“You can’t play … you play hard. I play hard,” Matthews said. “What happens is what happens. I don’t think anybody in this league, hopefully, intentionally goes out there to break the rules. You know, when you play hard, you have no regrets. That’s how I play, whether it’s a face mask or a low hit on the quarterback. I don’t think anybody intentionally, especially myself, goes out there and tries to inflict illegal hits or pain or whatever you like to call it. It’s just a byproduct of playing hard, I believe.” and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.

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