FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Jets defensive linemen Muhammad Wilkerson and Quinton Coples are appealing their fines by the NFL for their hits on Tennessee’s Jake Locker.
Wilkerson was docked $15,785 for roughing the passer, while Coples was fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness. Both were surprised at the fines, especially since no penalties were called on the field.
“I was going to appeal, regardless,” Wilkerson said Thursday. “It didn’t matter the amount. If it was $5,000, I still would’ve appealed. I don’t think it was a dirty hit. I don’t think I should’ve gotten fined.”
Locker was hit by both Wilkerson and Coples in the third quarter of Tennessee’s 38-13 win Sunday after he threw a pass. Locker was carted off the field and expected to miss a few weeks with a sprained right hip and knee.
Wilkerson made contact first after he took a step and smacked into Locker just after he released the football. Coples then hit into Locker low — “just a football play,” he called it — as the quarterback fell.
“The league felt like it was a personal foul or an inappropriate hit,” Coples said. “But one thing about it is that it’s up for debate, so I’m going to appeal it, and go forward from here.”
Titans coach Mike Munchak called both hits “unnecessary.”
“I thought the first one, he dropped his helmet into him and loaded onto him, which you’re supposed to pull back when you’re late. He didn’t,” Munchak said Monday. “The second one was totally unnecessary.”
Locker, however, said he didn’t think the hits were intentional, and neither player should be fined.
“I personally don’t think it was a dirty hit,” Wilkerson said. “He said it, so …”
Added Coples: “He felt that same way, and that’s a good thing.”
Wilkerson insisted that being fined for the hit won’t change how he approaches his style of play.
“I just play hard, physical football like I’m supposed to and how I was brought up and taught,” Wilkerson said. “I’m going to continue to do that and play ball the way I know how to play ball.”
Titans safety Michael Griffin said Wednesday that he was fined $21,000 by the league for his hit on Jets receiver Stephen Hill, who suffered a concussion. Griffin said he appealed the fine as soon as he received it. Hill’s status for New York’s game at Atlanta on Monday night was uncertain.
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