Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been fined $22,050 by the NFL for an illegal blindside hit on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the NFC Championship, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today Sports.
Midway through the second quarter, Wilson tossed the second of his four picks. As he was pursuing Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, he took a brutal crack back block from Matthews, who, despite leading with his shoulder, delivered a glancing helmet-to-helmet blow that violently jarred Wilson's head backward. Refs immediately flagged Matthews with a 15-yard penalty.
Despite the severity of the hit, Wilson was back on the field on the very next drive and a sideline report from Erin Andrews of Fox Sports suggested that he had not gone through proper concussion protocol. When asked after the Seahawks' thrilling overtime win whether he had been injured on the play, Wilson gave a sheepish grin and responded "No, I wasn't hurt," drawing knowing laughter from the Fox Sports post-game crew.
Here's the hit:
Seahawks offensive lineman J.R. Sweezy received a fine of $8,268 for an unrelated late hit on Matthews in the third quarter.