Source: Kazee fined for hit to helmet of Newton
ATLANTA — Falcons safety Damontae Kazee, who was ejected for unnecessary roughness last Sunday after a helmet hit on Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, was fined $10,026 by the NFL, a source told ESPN on Friday.
Kazee plans to appeal the fine, the source said.
The league did not take any futher discipline against Kazee, who is set to return to the lineup for this week’s NFC South showdown with New Orleans.
As Newton slid to the ground, Kazee went low and made contact with his helmet, causing the quarterback to go to the sideline momentarily to be checked by the medical staff. Panthers receiver Torrey Smith then went after Kazee, but Smith was not ejected.
Smith did receive an unnecessary roughness penalty to offset Kazee’s.
“Just overplaying it; I was playing too fast,” Kazee told the media this week. “Need to learn when to take my shot, when to not take my shot. When he was sliding, I was already in the air; tried to lean over to the left and nipped him with my facemask. Apologize for the hit and everything.”
Newton said on Wednesday he didn’t get an apology.
“At the end of the day it’s football,” Newton said. “I don’t have no ill will towards [Kazee]. It is what it is. I’m just focused on the Cincinnati Bengals right now and moving on.”
Falcons coach Dan Quinn said the team agreed with the call after reviewing the film.
“We totally supported the call on the field from the officials,” Quinn said. “But the first guy in the locker room to meet everybody was Kazee. He certainly was disappointed he wasn’t able to finish the game with his guys. Shows a lot about the teammate that he is, what he stands for. We’re going to work to get that part of his game right. He will, too.”
Kazee was in the starting lineup last week after the Falcons lost starting strong safety Keanu Neal to a season-ending ACL tear. Kazee actually started at free safety, with starting free safety Ricardo Allen moving over to strong safety.
Kazee was flagged for two helmet infractions during the preseason, including one that resulted in Jacksonville wide receiver Marqise Lee being lost for the season with a knee injury. Kazee was not fined for either infraction.