Atlanta Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson was fined $40,000 by the NFL on Monday for a vicious helmet to helmet hit he put on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on Sunday night.
The play in question saw Robinson leading with his helmet against a defenseless Maclin in the third quarter of the game. Robinson earned his team a unnecessary roughness penalty of 15 yards, while Maclin was seen shaken up but returned to action.
This isn't Robinson's first time hitting a defenseless receiver, though, and some even speculated that his latest hit could warrant a suspension from the NFL. Last season against the Eagles, Robinson was fined $50,000 - though it was later reduced to $25,000 - when he hit a defenseless Desean Jackson in Week 3.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, who handed down the punishment, did note that Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension.
The fines come as the league has made it a point of emphasis to protect defenseless wide receivers and quarterbacks against vicious defensive hits.
Player safety is a priority and we will not relent on it, Ray Anderson, NFL executive vice president of football operations, told the Associated Press in August. Let me make it very clear, particularly in regard to repeat offenders that egregious acts will be subject to suspension. We will not feel the need to hesitate in this regard.