NFL fines Cardinals CB Rolle $12,500 for facemask penalty

Updated: October 14, 2006, 1:58 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Cornerback Antrel Rolle will pay for twisting Larry Johnson's head by the facemask.

The NFL on Friday fined Rolle $12,500 after the Arizona Cardinals cornerback was assessed a personal foul for a blatant facemask of Johnson in last Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

Johnson caught a short pass from Damon Huard and turned it into a 78-yard gain to the Arizona 9 with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter. Johnson likely would have made it to the end zone if Rolle did not grab him by the facemask and twist his head backward. Rolle didn't even let go of the facemask as the two players tumbled out of bounds.

At first it appeared that Johnson had suffered a serious injury. He was down on the field for a few minutes before being attended to by team trainers. Johnson was able to get on his feet and wobble to the sidelines.

The injury was diagnosed as a neck strain and Johnson, the reigning AFC rushing champion, is listed as probable for this weekend's game at Pittsburgh.

It marked the second time this season that Rolle, a first-round pick in 2005, has been fined by the league for an excessive hit. In a September 17 game at Seattle, Rolle was fined $5,000 for a horse-collar tackle of running back Shaun Alexander, although he was not penalized on the play.

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