Dwyer fined $21K for using crown of helmet

PITTSBURGH -- What in past years could have been hailed as the way to finish a run has instead taken a bite out of Jonathan Dwyer’s wallet.

Dwyer has been fined $21,000 for using the crown of his helmet in the Steelers’ 40-23 loss to the Chicago Bears last Sunday night. The fourth-year running back did not draw a penalty on the play but an NFL review of it resulted in a fine.

Wide receiver Antonio Brown, meanwhile, received separate fines totaling $15,750 for unnecessary roughness.

Brown was flagged for unnecessary roughness after grabbing a facemask during a punt return. He received the same penalty after making a tackle following a Ben Roethlisberger interception near the end of the game.

Brown said he plans to appeal the fines.

Dwyer’s fine is a result of a rule change enacted during the offseason. Players are no longer allowed to use the crown of their helmet to strike a blow against defensive players.

The rule change that is part of the NFL’s player-safety initiative has drawn its share of criticism.

One player-safety issue that cropped up with the Steelers this week won’t be investigated by the NFL.

Running back Isaac Redman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he played in the Steelers’ 20-10 loss at Cincinnati after sustaining a concussion on the opening kickoff. Redman said he lied to doctors so he could get back into the game.

The Steelers have refuted Redman’s claim and said they followed the mandated protocol when a player suffers a possible concussion before clearing Redman to return.

The NFL said it is satisfied with how the Steelers handled Redman’s injury though ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick wonders how Redman could have fooled doctors so easily.

Riddick, a former NFL safety, said it is not uncommon for players who have sustained a concussion to do everything they can to stay in a game.

But a league that is doing everything it can to minimize dangerous head hits has to also protect concussed players from themselves.