Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith wasn't penalized for a crunching helmet-to-helmet hit to New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara in a Nov. 29 game, but he didn't avoid punishment from the NFL office.
After the game, neither Kamara nor Saints coach Sean Payton, who is on the league's competition committee that helped develop a new rule against lowering the helmet to contact an opponent, complained about the non-call.
"It is what it is," Kamara said when asked if he was expecting a penalty. "It don't matter what I was expecting."
According to ESPN, Smith plans to appeal the fine, believing he did nothing wrong.
"It's the last gladiator sport," Smith told Dallas media members Thursday. "As I was going to tackle him, he turned his body at the last second and I hit him. I hit him. I put my arms out to hit him and there was some contact. But, like I said, it's the game that we love and definitely no intentions to play the game the wrong way. I've been taught well."
After a flurry of calls for lowering the helmet during the preseason, the NFL has called very few during the regular season. ESPN reported last month that the league has instead emphasized fining players for such violations as a form of warning.
--Field Level Media
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)