The NFL fined 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks $15,750 for his controversial hit on New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Sunday that resulted in a game-changing penalty.
Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said on Tuesday that referee Tony Corrente made the correct call on the play that nullified a late-game fumble and Patrick Willis' potential game-changing recovery.
[RELATED: NFL: Correct call was made]
Ex-49ers safety Merton Hanks, NFL vice president of operations, agreed with Blandino and levied the standard fine amount for a roughing-the-passer penalty. Hanks, who determines fines for players, is not part of the league's officiating department.
"You can't make forcible contact to the head or the neck area, even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up," Blandino said on Tuesday. "If there's force to that contact, it's a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force.
"That's why the flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness."
Brooks is expected to appeal the fine.
On Monday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said the team’s coaching staff reviewed the play and did not find Brooks at fault.
“Our interpretation was, when we grade a player, if he’s got a penalty we give him a minus, but we did not assign a minus on that play,” Harbaugh said.
It's the second fine for Brooks this season. He was fined $12,750 for a late hit against Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 1.