Nine Fined in Fight, One Fined in Game
Nine players were fined Thursday for their roles in a fight before Monday night’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons, but Atlanta defensive tackle Chad Lavalais drew the biggest fine -- $7,500 -- for a hit on quarterback Donovan McNabb during the game.
Lavalais was fined for using his helmet on McNabb, who hurt his chest on the play. McNabb is questionable for Philadelphia’s game Sunday against San Francisco because of the injury.
For the pregame fight, which resulted in Falcon cornerback Kevin Mathis’ and Eagle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter’s being ejected before kickoff, those two players got $5,000 fines. Also receiving a $5,000 fine was cornerback DeAngelo Hall for unsportsmanlike conduct for grabbing an opponent’s facemask and then throwing the opponent’s helmet.
Two Falcons were fined $2,500 for entering a fight area: safety Keion Carpenter and cornerback-kick returner Allen Rossum. Safety Kevin McCadam got a $1,000 fine.
Along with Trotter, the three Eagles fined for entering a fight area were linebackers Keith Adams, Jason Short and Mike Labinjo.
During warmups, Trotter apparently pushed Mathis, who responded with a punch. Hall also appeared to throw a punch. Then everyone got into it, forcing the officials to intervene.
Meanwhile, McNabb practiced for the first time Thursday since being injured, saying he felt a little sore but also reiterating that he will play Sunday against San Francisco. McNabb also received some tips from Tennessee Titan quarterback Steve McNair, who had a similar injury last season.
In other news, Mathis suffered career-threatening injuries in practice Wednesday and will be lost for the season. Mathis tore ligaments in his left knee and sustained damage to another part of the knee and his hamstring.
Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was downgraded to questionable because of a bruised knee bone. The Steelers often sit out players who don’t practice or practice little on Thursdays and Roethlisberger had limited work.
“He does have a bone bruise and he has just not responded as quickly as I had hoped and his status is day to day,” Coach Bill Cowher said.
If Roethlisberger can’t play, Tommy Maddox will start Sunday at Houston.
Eager to clarify his remark Wednesday that Anthony Wright “will be our starting quarterback until circumstances change,” Baltimore Raven Coach Brian Billick emphasized that his confidence in Kyle Boller has not waned despite Boller’s hyperextended right big toe.
“Kyle Boller is our starting quarterback,” he said. “If Kyle is able to return in the two- to three-week prognosis that we currently have, he will be our starting quarterback.”
Denver Bronco cornerback Champ Bailey, who hasn’t missed a game in his seven-year NFL career, practiced in pads and said he expected to keep the streak going Sunday against San Diego despite a dislocated shoulder, suffered Sunday at Miami.
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