After receiving a personal foul penalty for hitting Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jamell Fleming during a punt return last week, New England Patriots wideout Danny Amendola was reportedly fined $23,152, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
According to ESPN.com's Mike Reiss, Amendola plans to appeal the fine in the wake of New England's 27-20 win over KC in an AFC divisional playoff clash.
The second-quarter play featured Amendola abdicating his duties as a return man in favor of taking out Fleming, who was attempting to down the punt.
While the 30-year-old pass-catcher was flagged for his hit on Fleming, the impact was negligible. The penalty only moved the ball back two yards since New England was already on its own 4-yard line.
There was no shortage of outrage on Twitter after the play, as many felt the punishment didn't fit the crime, including Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders:
"Saw him trying to block the guy trying to down the ball," Belichick said. "It's hard to tell from the coaching film where the hit occurred. It was a legal play. We're allowed to block him. (Amendola) didn't give a fair catch signal so he's allowed to block."
Regardless of the hit's legality and whether the fine is upheld, the Pats can rest assured knowing Amendola's services will be available for their AFC Championship Game meeting with the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
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New England has struggled through injuries all season long, but quarterback Tom Brady essentially has his full arsenal of weapons with Amendola, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski leading the way.
The manner in which the NFL handles Amendola's situation is certainly important, though, since it could either encourage or dissuade similar plays in the future depending on how hard it cracks down.
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