The 49ers and their fans may not like it, but the NFL has removed any doubt that the league office thinks there’s no place for hits like the one Ahmad Brooks put on Drew Brees on Sunday.
Brooks, who briefly appeared to have sealed a win for the 49ers when he drilled Brees in the neck and forced a fumble that San Francisco recovered, was instead given a 15-yard penalty for the hit. Now the NFL has added a $16,000 fine for Brooks, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The news of the fine comes as no surprise: Some may say that there’s nothing defensive players can do anymore, but the NFL has made it clear that what defensive players can and must do is hit quarterbacks above the knees and below the neck. Brooks hit Brees in the neck, and that’s a foul the NFL wants the officials to call every time.
Brooks can appeal, but it would be a big surprise if he wins that appeal. In the NFL in 2013, those are the hits the league office wants to eliminate.