Source: Antonio Garay fined $15K

The NFL fined San Diego Chargers defensive tackle Antonio Garay $15,000 for hitting New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady below the knee last Sunday, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The hit happened in the third quarter of the Patriots' 35-21 victory when Garay reached out his left arm into Brady's left knee. The Patriots quarterback ended up on the ground, his back arched and legs bent.

Brady, who escaped unscathed, on Monday credited the brace he was wearing on the knee for protecting him from a potentially devastating injury.

"I'm glad I had a knee brace on," Brady said in his weekly appearance on Boston sports radio station WEEI.

"Those are scary when you've been through those ones before. He got me in a good spot and I'm glad the knee brace took the brunt of the force. Why I never wore a knee brace before (his season-ending ACL injury in 2008) I have no idea and why every quarterback doesn't wear one on their left knee I have no idea. It's just so unprotected."

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and ESPNBoston.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss was used in this report.