In a rare instance of the NFL cracking down on an illegal hit from a kicker, Arizona’s Jay Feely has been fined for a personal foul.
Feely, who was called for unnecessary roughness when he hit an opponent late on the second half kickoff of the Cardinals’ Week Four win over the Dolphins, was fined $7,875 for the penalty.
The officials flagged Feely for running down the field and hitting a Dolphins player on a kickoff that he had kicked out of the end zone for a touchback, which the officials said was unnecessary. Feely said he was just trying to run down the field and cover the kick, the way every player on the kicking team does.
“On a kickoff, I’m allowed to hit him in the back and I did that and the refs talked to me later and said, ‘It was a touchback, you shouldn’t have done that,’” Feely said. “I didn’t know it was a touchback, I’m trying to get a block. I was just glad they didn’t score. Anytime you do that you feel responsible for putting yourself in bad field position.”
Feely kicked the winning field goal in overtime of the game, more than making up for costing his team 15 yards. And knowing that Feely is willing to mix it up, even to the extent where he draws a personal foul and subsequent fine, may just give him a little more credibility in the Cardinals’ locker room.