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Lamarcus Joyner fined $23K for defenseless hit on Teddy Bridgewater

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Joyner's blow knocked the sliding Vikings quarterback unconscious.

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner was fined $23,152 for his ugly hit that knocked out Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewateraccording to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The league determined it was a defenseless hit.

On Sunday, Bridgewater was already well into a slide at the end of a scramble when Joyner dove at him, slamming his left arm into Bridgewater's head, which then slammed into the turf. Bridgewater appeared to be completely unconscious for several moments, and missed the rest of the game with a concussion. His status for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders is unknown, though Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was optimistic that Bridgewater would be ready to play.

Joyner was given a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, both for hitting a runner who had already given himself up, and for delivering a blow to the head of a defenseless player.

Zimmer barely acknowledged Rams coach Jeff Fisher after the game, and mentioned the "history" of St. Louis defensive coordinator Gregg Williams -- an apparent reference to his part in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scheme. Williams was suspended for a year after that story broke.

"If we were out on the street, we probably would have had a fight," Zimmer said in his postgame press conference.

Joyner, unsurprisingly, claimed his innocence after the game.

"I know Bridgewater," he said. "We grew up across the tracks from each other. Our moms know each other. I would never intentionally hurt him."

Joyner and Bridgewater are both from Miami.