Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams knew it was coming. The letter from the NFL was in his locker today informing him of a $15,000 fine for his hit on Tom Brady during Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots.
Williams didn’t get much of a hit for his money. He hit Brady on the back of the calf near the knee with his forearm as he was falling to the ground. Brady completed a 19-yard pass to Wes Welker on the play. The hit drew a roughing the passer penalty, which gave the Pats 7 more yards to put them at the Buffalo 6. Two plays later Brady scored to tie the game, 21-21.
The penalty and the fine are consistent with NFL rules on protecting the quarterback on hits to the lower legs.
“I could understand if I dove at him head-first and hit him or hit him behind the legs and dove at him with my shoulder,” Williams said. “But I hit him with my arm and get a $15,000 fine for hitting the guy with the ball. I don’t get it.”
Williams said he expected some kind of fine.
“I figured it was,” he said. “At the same time, I asked the official during the game, ‘What do you want me to do?’ He didn’t say anything. Of course, I wasn’t exactly calm when I asked him. But I’m trying to figure out: You get blocked down, you’re going down. The guy’s still got the ball. I didn’t dive into the side of the leg. I didn’t spear him in the side of the leg. I hit him with my forearm in his calf and he went down.
“You got guys out there hitting Fitz in his chest with their helmet when he’s going down. I don’t know what you’re supposed to do.”
Both Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller practiced fully Wednesday after playing in Sunday’s game despite not being 100 percent. Jackson wore a brace to protect the knee he sprained in the season opener. He said he still probably will wear the brace this week in San Francisco. But he feels a lot better than he did last week.
“Yes, I do,” Jackson said. “I think that’s just the knee getting stronger and the treatment they’re doing is making the knee get better. I definitely feel a lot better today than I did last week, so hopefully that continues to increase.”
“I was a little sore afterward but nothing more than was expected,” Jackson said. “I feel good now.”
Spiller played despite a sore shoulder. Said Spiller: “I’m just taking it day by day trying to do all the necessary things to make sure I’ll be ready to go. I don’t think I wouldn’t be ready to go, considering I played last week.”
Left tackle Cordy Glenn and right guard Kraig Urbik are out this week with ankle sprains. Safety Jairus Byrd missed practice due to a hip pointer suffered Sunday. Defensive tackle Spencer Johnson sat out with a sore ankle. Receiver Ruvell Martin (ankle) was limited.
Receiver Kamar Aiken was released from the Bills’ practice squad to make room for guard-tackle Reggie Stephens, a seventh-round pick of the Bengals in 2010. Stephens, 6-foot-3 and 325, was released by the Bengals in early September.
Defensive end Mario Williams on the Bills’ mental toughness, or lack thereof, cited by coach Chan Gailey after the Pats defeat:
“I think the mental toughness he was referring to is guys were being jittery, and you do one thing and then you peek your head and you see something else, your gap, and you don’t execute our scheme. I think a lot of times the things that were going on, we lost a little aggressiveness because we were thinking: Do I go over the top of that? And we kind of slowed up a bit across the board.
“I think in the first half we definitely had it. We came out of there, we handled the transition and had a sense of urgency to stop them and make them kick a field goal. The second half, I think the biggest thing was assignments hindered us. I think that also led to us not being to stop the turn of things that were going on in the second half.”