The NFL announced on Thursday that Denver Broncos guard Dan Neil has been fined $15,000 for illegally clipping Bryan Cox of the New England Patriots during last Sunday’s game in Denver.
NFL Director of Football Operations Gene Washington sent Neil a letter to notify him of the fine.
“Specifically, on a pass play, you clipped your opponent from behind and below the knee,” Washington told Neil in the letter. Washington administers discipline for player-against-player violations.
He said in the letter that Neil’s hit on Cox “violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 9, which states ‘There shall be no clipping from behind below the waist against a non-runner.'”
Clipping above the knees is legal in “close-line play”, but is illegal at or below the knees anywhere on the field. (Close-line play is the area between the tackles and three yards on either side of the line of scrimmage.)
The action against Neil was the third significant fine issued this season to offensive linemen for violations against defensive players.
Denver tackle Matt Lepsis was fined $15,000 for “rolling up” on the back of an opponent’s leg in the Broncos’ October 21 game against San Diego.
Dallas tackle Flozell Adams was fined a game check for a chop block in the Cowboys’ August 30 game against Jacksonville.
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