Titans quarterback Jake Locker is out for the season with a foot injury, but he’d previously hurt his hip and knee this season when he was hit by Jets defenders Quinton Coples and Muhammad Wilkerson in the Titans’ blowout win over the Jets earlier this season.
Locker said he thought there was nothing dirty about the hits, which came one after the other as he spun off Wilkerson into Coples. The officials in the game agreed as there were no flags, but the NFL disagreed and decided to fine both Jets players. Upon further review, it looks like Locker and the officials hit the nail on the head from the start.
It was reported last month that Wilkerson won his appeal of the fine and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports Thursday that Coples also made a successful argument for overturning the penalty. The two fines totaled $23,660 before they were wiped from the books.
While it is never easy to figure out exactly why some plays are fined while others escape the wrath of the league office, these fines were particularly puzzling because there was no flag and no real sense at the time that the officials had made the wrong call. No one would have even noticed the hits had Locker not been injured and the standard for fines should be the action of the defender rather than the outcome.