New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he took a punch in the mouth.
Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short took a hit to the wallet.
The NFL fined Short $18,231 for his fourth-quarter hit on Brees in the Saints’ 41-38 win. The hit resulted in a roughing the passer penalty on Short and a bloody lip for Brees, who believed it was intentional.
“It looked like he just straight punched me in the mouth. That’s what it felt like and that’s what it looked like on the Jumbotron,” Brees said. “Listen, I’ll take the 15 yards (for a personal foul) every time, but we got the touchdown.”
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Short caught Brees in the face with his left hand after the quarterback threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Josh Hill with about six minutes left.
Short said Brees’ short stature played a role.
“I was getting outside to contain and I just threw my hand up,” Short said. “And at the same time, he’s a shorter quarterback so it just happened to hit him in the face. It wasn’t on purpose. It wasn’t out of frustration or nothing. I was just doing my job.”