The NFL has really buckled down this year when it comes to issuing fines for players leading with their helmets -- whether they are ballcarriers or not. The latest victim is Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, who was fined $43,709 for a block he made against Jaquan Brisker of the Chicago Bears. The block was not penalized during the game.
According to NFL Football Operations, the fine amount indicates this is St. Brown's second offense for "impermissible use of the helmet/launching." If falls under the fine category of "unnecessary roughness," and was the largest fine issued from Week 11. St. Brown did lower his helmet to initiate contact while blocking downfield for this run play, but it was the furthest thing from a "violent" play.
Check out the play below from NFL Media. St. Brown is No. 14 at the top of the screen.
It’s not just running backs: The NFL fined #Lions WR Amon-Ra St. Brown $43,709 for this block last week against Chicago.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) November 25, 2023
St. Brown is wearing No. 14 here. The league has been cracking down on lowering the head to initiate contact. pic.twitter.com/8vJ5MLgeK4
St. Brown is hardly the first player to receive a fine for a block, as Atlanta Falcons fullback Keith Smith was handed a for blocking on a kickoff. He appealed the decision, and won. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren has this year as well, for both lowering his helmet as a ballcarrier, and for a block in the backfield. He was initially charged nearly $97,000 for the two incidents.