Cleveland Browns safety T.J. Ward was fined $25,000 for the hit he placed on wide receiver Kevin Ogletree in the fourth quarter of Sunday's loss to the Dallas Cowboys. The officials flagged Ward for helmet-to-helmet contact, but replay reviews showed that the hit seemed clean, despite its high-impact nature. Ogletree suffered a concussion on the play, as did Browns cornerback Buster Skrine.
Ward is appealing the fine and insists that there was nothing wrong with his hit:
"It was completely legal," Ward said. "I hit him in the chest as he was falling forward. No part of my helmet hit his helmet. No part of my shoulder pad hit his helmet. I think it was a blown call and a blown punishment. It's not even fair. It's not fair at all, and if you look at the hit a thousand times, it's not an illegal hit at all."
Defensive coordinator Dick Jauron also stuck up for Ward on Wednesday during a news conference:
"I saw the replays multiple times and I didn’t see any head to head contact on that play. I don’t know if anybody else did. I don’t know what you tell him. They have to figure it out. I don’t know what you tell the defensive player today."
Here is a screenshot of Ward's hit so you can judge for yourself: