Carolina Panthers defensive end Wes Horton was fined by the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan last weekend, although a Falcons defender who went high on a hit to Panthers tight end Greg Olsen was not fined.
Olsen was upset after taking a shot from Atlanta safety Keanu Neal on an incomplete pass in the second quarter of the Falcons’ 22-10 win. The top of Neal’s helmet appeared to strike Olsen’s facemask, although no penalty was called and Neal avoided a fine from the league.
“We talk all year about looking for guys. If anyone saw the replay, you take a full-on helmet square to the face,” Olsen said after the game. “You’d at least like to get the penalty. I think everyone who watches understood why I was upset about that.”
Meanwhile, Horton was fined $18,231 for a hit on Ryan that also did not draw a flag. But Horton said this week an official told him during the game they had missed the penalty.
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“It seemed like I kind of led with my helmet, but I did push him in the chest,” Horton told the Observer. “And then the ref came up to me and said, ‘Yo, we should have called it.’”
Panthers backup safety Jairus Byrd was fined $24,309 for a late hit against the Falcons.