Two Miami Dolphins players were hit with fines form actions during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Center Mike Pouncey was charged $7,875 for unnecessary roughness, while linebacker Philip Wheeler was given a $21,000 fine for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon.
Pouncey's unnecessary roughness fine came on the team's first possession of the game, when he punched Buccaneers defensive tackle Akeem Spence. The play drew a flag for a "blow to the head", but the Miami center was allowed to stay in the game. The flag moved the Dolphins from a 3rd-and-1 play to a 3rd-and-16, which they failed to convert and were forced to punt.
Wheeler's hit came in the fourth quarter, as Glennon rolled out of the pocket. The Tampa Bay quarterback threw an incomplete pass and the Buccaneers appeared to have to punt. Instead, the flag was thrown for the hit to the helmet of the quarterback by Wheeler and the Buccaneers were given a first down.
On Tuesday, Wheeler said that he aimed for the quarterback's chest, but Glennon had jumped and was in the air. As he laded, Wheeler hit him in the head. “I think if I would have lowered my target maybe they might not have called it,” Wheeler explained. “But he was in the air at first and I judged him like that and I went to hit him and they called a penalty.”
While none of the three fines is surprising, and all are probably warranted under the rules of the game, I do find it odd how much higher Wheeler's fine is. It seems the protection of quarterbacks made that fine skyrocket, while plays that were not a part of football - a punch to the head and a blindside hit on player not involved in the play - were much small. Maybe there's more to it, but from initial appearances, it is a little strange that Wheeler's fine was 267% of either of the other fines.
Both Pouncey and Wheeler should be back on the field Sunday as the Dolphins host the San Diego Chargers, although Pouncey missed practice today with a "minor medical issue."
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