KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs safety Eric Murray successfully appealed the fine levied against him for unnecessary roughness in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams, rescinding a $26,739 penalty for hitting a defenseless receiver.
The penalty stemmed from a hit Murray delivered on wide receiver Robert Woods during the Rams' opening possession of the game. Rams quarterback Jared Goff threw a slant over the middle to Woods, with Murray and cornerback Kendall Fuller converging for the tackle. Murray hit Woods just after the ball arrived and dislodged it from his hands for an incompletion.
Back judge Tony Steratore, however, flagged Murray for hitting a defenseless player. The incompletion would have left the Rams with a second-and-10 from the Chiefs' 15-yard line. The penalty moved the ball half the distance to the goal, setting up the Rams with a first-and-goal from the 7. Goff connected with Woods on the next play for a touchdown giving the Rams an early 7-0 lead.
The appeals officer hearing Murray's case said he believe Murray made an effort to avoid injury while playing a live ball and should not have received a flag for unnecessary roughness, a source told ChiefsDigest.com.
The NFL schedule uses a process collectively bargained by the league and the NFL Players Association. Infractions follow a specified fine structure, regardless of a player's salary. Murray earns a base salary of $630,000 this season, which means the fine would have taken 68 percent from Murray's weekly game check of $39,375.
While Murray won the appeal for unnecessary roughness, he received another fine in Week 13 for a scuffle with Oakland Raiders tight end Jared Cook following a play. Both players received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The league docked Murray $10,026 for the foul, but an appeal will be heard on that fine later this month.