Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders opened this week knowing that he would likely see an increased role Monday night against Kansas City Chiefs with wide receiver Antonio Brown injured and doubtful for the game. Of Friday, he ended the week by receiving some bad news in a letter from the league headquarters.NFL levied a hefty $50,000 fine on Sanders and the Steelers on Friday for his exploits faking a leg injury during the Sunday night match-up against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ironically, the Steelers received the larger of the two fines handed out ($35,000), even though NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson found no evidence the Steelers instructed Sanders to fake the injury.
This $15,000 fine should come as no surprise to Sanders or the organization as the league made this a point of emphasis to monitor this season after a couple blatant occurrences in 2011 shifted the outcome in games. In this case, Sanders was clearly not injured after withering on the ground in pain one second and then covering a punt the next. A fact, which was pointed out multiple times by television commentator Chris Collinsworth, who used multiple views of video evidence to describe the entire event, video evidence the league used to levy this fine.
This was the first fine handed out for this infraction under the new rules and may set a precedent for the infraction. Sanders was not alone with his fine, as Steelers safety Will Allen was fined for $7,875 for a first quarter play against the New York Giants.
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