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Patriots lineman fined for leg whip on Panthers’ Charles Johnson

The NFL fined New England Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon $15,750 for a leg whip that injured Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson, a league spokesman announced Friday.

Cannon, who apologized to Johnson after Monday night’s game, was not penalized on the play. Johnson has been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Miami against the Dolphins, and it is unclear when he will return.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said it was disappointing to see one of his players get hurt on an illegal play.

“It’s very frustrating because you’re going into a game where you lose a guy on something that is an illegal play,” Rivera said. “It’s one thing to get hurt, but it’s another thing to get hurt and start missing out.

“You don’t ever want to see that happen, first of all. But secondly, you don’t want it to happen to a guy that’s going to miss time.”

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not fined for berating referee Clete Blakeman after officials picked up a pass interference flag against Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly on Robert Lester’s game-ending interception of Brady.

Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib and Panthers receiver Steve Smith – who had a couple of after-the-whistle skirmishes, one of which resulted in a penalty on Talib – also were not fined.

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