Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard has incurred a $42,000 fine for his devastating hit on Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson. Pollard announced the financial penalty via Twitter on Wednesday morning.
Pollard—known for his questionable tackles that have injured a number of players around the league—stated the NFL informed him that he had done “everything right” in regard to the hit, but was still fined for his actions.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed the report.
Josina Anderson of ESPN noted that Pollard will “automatically appeal” the fine.
Johnson suffered a concussion on the play, which occurred in the fourth quarter of Week 2. He was drilled by the hard-hitting safety upon making a 21-yard catch in a game the Texans would win 30-24 in overtime. Although there were no flags on the play, it appeared that Pollard used his shoulder to smash into a defenseless receiver’s helmet.
The veteran defensive back spoke about the play after the game and seemed aware that a fine may come from it, according to Will Grubb of Sports Radio 610 in Houston:
“It’s hard for us as defensive players to pick our target, you know, so going high or going low, we ain’t right.” Pollard said. “It was a no call but we will see what the front office has to say.”
Johnson’s teammates immediately took umbrage to Pollard’s questionable tactics and were still steaming about it after the game.
Texans tight end Owen Daniels told the staff of the Houston Chronicle, "I’ve never seen a more blatant blow to the head. A big miss by the officials, especially for a guy like Andre. I know you have to protect every player, especially someone like him."
Pollard’s been one of the more controversial figures in the league over the past few years and didn’t help his cause when he hung up a sign stating, “Goal – Super Bowl; Mission – Kill!!!” in his locker during the offseason.
The 28-year-old, who was nicknamed "Bonecrusher" while playing at Purdue, has been something of a nemesis for the New England Patriots, as he delivered key injuries at inopportune times to star players.
He ended Tom Brady’s season back in 2008, tore Wes Welker’s ACL in 2009, delivered a high-ankle sprain to Rob Gronkowski in 2011 and removed Stevan Ridley from the game in last year’s AFC Championship.
It seems Pollard is now haunting the Houston Texans, a team he played for in 2009 and 2010.