The NFL fined Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning $8,258 for taunting Houston Texans safety D.J. Swearinger, ESPN.com reported Thursday.
Sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Manning was fined for his actions in last Saturday’s preseason game after getting in the face of Swearinger following a 29-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders in the second quarter.
During the drive, Swearinger’s blow to the helmet of Broncos receiver Wes Welker resulted in a concussion for Welker.
Manning, instead of celebrating the touchdown, ran to Swearinger and gave what the safety described as “choice words.”
“I accept the fine. It’s money well spent,” Manning told Mortensen.
It was the first time in Manning’s career that he had been flagged for taunting.
Welker remains sidelined under the league’s concussion protocol — the third time he has been under the guidelines since Nov. 17.
After the game, Manning refused to expound on exactly what he told Swearinger.
“I wasn’t surprised (by Manning’s comments),” Swearinger said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “I was just, ‘Why, bro?’ You know what I’m saying? It’s whatever. … Peyton can say what he want to say. It really doesn’t matter. All I care about is the W.”
Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he thought Swearinger’s hit on Welker was legal.
“I think the call was correct,” O’Brien said Sunday. “What you continually have to show the guys on tape what a proper tackle is. It’s not leading with the head. It’s hitting with your shoulder and hitting basically between the shoulders and the waist and not above the neck area.”