Griffen fined for late hit on Packers’ Rodgers

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Now that defensive end Everson Griffen has been fined, the Minnesota Vikings won’t be any more pleased with the NFL over what it felt was a penalty on a clean play in last Sunday’s loss to Green Bay.

The NFL announced Friday that Griffen will lose $15,750 for a roughing-the-passer penalty on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers late in the second quarter of a 23-14 loss. Minnesota immediately took issue with the penalty, which negated an interception by Jared Allen that would have given the Vikings the ball at the Green Bay 18-yard line with a chance to open up a bigger lead before halftime.

The NFL said Griffen was fined for hitting Rodgers late. He didn’t appear to take more than one step after the MVP quarterback released the ball, and he hit Rodgers in the shoulder area, not on the helmet. Several Vikings’ players were still steamed about the call after the loss.

Linebacker Jasper Brinkley was also fined $7,875 for a facemask. Brinkley was not penalized during the game, but replays showed he clearly grabbed the facemask of Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb and twisted his head on a first-quarter tackle.

As part of an ever-growing list of fines in the NFL this season, Minnesota has had its share, with Harrison Smith, Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley all being docked $21,000 for hits the NFL deemed to be unnecessary or dangerous.

Meanwhile, Packers cornerback Tramon Williams was fined $21,000 for an unnecessary roughness penalty in the same game. He delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Vikings running back Toby Gerhart late in the third quarter when Gerhart went high for a pass. The NFL said the fine was because he “struck an opponent in the head in neck area on a pass play.”

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