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Rolle fined $12,500 for face-mask tackle of Johnson

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle has been fined $12,500 by the league for a face mask infraction during his tackle of Larry Johnson in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The fine, first reported by Fox Sports, was confirmed Friday by NFL officials.

It marks the second time this season that Rolle, the Cardinals' first-round choice in the 2005 draft, has been sanctioned for a hit deemed excessive by league officials.

Rolle was fined $5,000 for a so-called "horse-collar" tackle of Seattle Seahawks star running back Shaun Alexander in the teams' Sept. 17 meeting. Rolle was not penalized for that incident and was only fined after the league's officiating department reviewed the play for more than a week.

The incident last Sunday occurred with 2:31 remaining in the contest and the score 20-20. On a first-and-10 play from the Kansas City 13-yard line, Chiefs quarterback Damon Huard dumped a short pass to Johnson on the left side. The Chiefs' tailback rambled 78 yards, to the Arizona nine-yard line, before Rolle pulled him down from behind.

On the play, Rolle clearly grabbed Johnson's face mask, and failed to release it, even as the two players fell out of bounds.

Officials flagged Rolle for a major face mask foul. Because the play concluded at the Arizona nine-yard line, the infraction was half the distance to the goal line, making the penalty five yards instead of 15, and moving the ball to the Cardinals' four-yard line. Four plays later, Kansas City kicker Lawrence Tynes made a 19-yard field goal to win the game.

Johnson suffered a neck injury on the play and underwent a battery of tests this week. The tests revealed no significant damage and, despite missing the first few days of practice this week, Johnson is listed as "probable" for Sunday's game at Pittsburgh.

It is not yet known if Rolle, the eighth overall pick in the 2005 draft, will appeal the fine.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click hereInsider.