National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle has fined Washington safety Curtis Jordan $500 for making a "flagrant and dangerous" hit on Patriots tight end Derrick Ramsey during the Redskins' 26-10 victory Sept. 23 in New England.
Jordan said he was "shocked" by a letter from Rozelle yesterday informing him of the fine, and said he will appeal the fine. The play occurred late in the fourth quarter, on an incomplete pass from quarterback Tony Eason.
"There wasn't even a penalty called on the play," said Jordan, an eight-year veteran. "I wasn't trying to cheap shot the guy. If the official didn't think it was a penalty, how could the league office think it is? I thought this was supposed to be football."
"The letter really took me by surprise," said Coach Joe Gibbs. "When I saw the film (immediately after the game), I didn't see the intent (to do harm) by Curtis."
Both Jordan and Gibbs said they will send a letter of appeal to Rozelle within the 20-day period allowed by the collective bargaining agreement. Gibbs said he planned to review the film of the play again last night. He also said he planned to contact Art McNally, superviser of league officials, "just to make sure they've looked at it from every angle . . . We don't ever want anybody to take a cheap shot. It's bad for the game."
League spokesman Joe Browne said he was not certain how the play came to the league's attention.
"While the primary job is to review actions of officials, Art McNally and his staff also are looking for personal fouls that may or may not have been called . . . This is something that may happen as many as a dozen times during the year where a penalty has not been called, but McNally and his staff see something that they feel was a flagrant foul," Browne said.
"The commisioner reviews it personally, then decides whether he believes it is flagrant."
Patriots spokesman Jim Greenidge said, "Really, there's nothing we want to say about it. It's a league matter at this point."
Greenidge did say Ramsey was "spitting blood" after the game, but he hasn't missed any games as a result.
Wide receiver Charlie Brown, who has a hairline fracture in his ankle, is "definitely out" of Sunday's game in St. Louis, according to the team's latest injury report. Gibbs said Wednesday that Brown will be out "one to three weeks." Sunday's will be the third consecutive game Brown has missed.
Defensive end Dexter Manley (sprained ankle) returned to practice yesterday and is questionable (50-50 chance) for Sunday. He again would be replaced by Tom Beasley. Wide receiver Mark McGrath (dislocated finger) and offensive tackle George Starke (fluid on knee) practiced yesterday and are expected to be able to play Sunday.