|Written by Michael|
Bet on the NFL The NFL fined Philadelphia Eagles starting cornerback Asante Samuel $40,000 for an illegal hit in Sunday's 27-17 win over the New York Giants. Samuel told the Philadelphia Daily News prior to practice on Wednesday that he was docked for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants wideout Derek Hagan, which resulted in a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty.
Samuel, who is sitting out the practice session with a sprained knee suffered in Sunday's victory, has seven interceptions and 23 combined tackles in nine starts this season. Samuel hit New York Giants receiver Derek Hagan in the head and neck area during Sunday's game, it was Samuel's second infraction for unnecessary roughness this season.
Samuel confirmed the fine before practice Wednesday and said a change of tactics is in order. Samuel isn't known as a physical player, often criticized for shying away from tackles. Sports betting fans should consider that he is, however, one of the top playmakers. Samuel leads the league with seven interceptions and has 42 in his career.
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The league has cracked down on hits to the helmet in the last month, with Samuel's fines among the NFL's biggest. Samuel lowered his shoulder on the hit and appeared to try to lead that way, his helmet making contact with Hagan's face mask.
Samuel said the league called him a repeat offender in a letter outlining the fine, but he disputed that. Eagles coach Andy Reid also believed that Samuel shouldn't have been fined. Samuel, who sprained his knee Sunday, was one of two Eagles defensive starters to miss practice Wednesday, the team said. Defensive end Juqua Parker (hip flexor) was the other.
Reid said he isn't sure exactly when Samuel sustained the injury, but the coach said the cornerback believes it might have been on a fumble recovery. Samuel also had two interceptions. Joselio Hanson will take Samuel's reps in practice. Reid said Samuel "wants to play in the game."
Parker was hindered by the hip injury before last Sunday's game. Brandon Graham assumed most of the snaps at left defensive end Sunday and forced the fumble that Samuel recovered.