Denver Broncos safety John Lynch was fined US$75,000 by the NFL on Tuesday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts fullback Dallas Clark last weekend.
A league spokesman said Lynch, a 12-year veteran with a reputation as a hard hitter, received the harsh penalty because this was his fourth fine for unnecessary roughness since 2001. The first three all cost him US$7,500.
On Sunday, Clark made a catch and Lynch leveled him just as he turned around. A flag went flying, the ball came loose, it was scooped up by Colts receiver Reggie Wayne, but he then fumbled and Broncos cornerback Kelly Herndon picked it up and ran for a touchdown. Because the hit didn't result in a tackle, officials picked up the flag.
On review, however, officials ruled the pass was incomplete and reinstated the personal foul.
The Broncos were off on Tuesday and Lynch was unavailable for comment. After the game, though, the safety said he had no regrets about the hit and insisted it would send a message for the rematch between the teams this Sunday in the first round of the playoffs.
The hit knocked Clark out of the game with a concussion. He looked dazed on the sideline and had blood inside his mouth.