Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch was furious on Sunday when Titans offensive lineman Leroy Harris plowed into his knee after a play. The league office has now confirmed that Harris was in the wrong, with a $10,000 fine.
Still, that fine seems pretty light for going after a guy’s knees. Tulloch says he’s stunned that Harris attempted to take him out like that, especially considering that he and Harris have known each other for years as teammates both with the Titans and at North Carolina State.
“I’ve got a family to feed, man,” Tulloch told the Detroit Free Press. “I play the game clean. I want everybody else to play the game clean. Play within the whistle. When the whistle blows and somebody goes to take out your knees, you protect yourself at all costs.”
Adding to Tulloch’s frustration was that he shoved Harris after the cheap shot, and the replacement officials penalized Tulloch for the shove — but not Harris for the initial cheap shot.
And furthering Tulloch’s frustration is that he was fined even more than Harris: Tulloch got fined $21,000 for a separate incident, a shot to the head of Titans tight end Craig Stevens.
Also fined was Titans defensive end Scott Solomon, who was docked $15,750 for hitting Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford below the knee.
“I am going to try and correct that so it doesn’t happen next time,” Solomon told Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean.
And with that, we have a rare example of a player admitting that a fine might get him to change the way he plays.