Chicago Bears' free safety Chris Conte was fined $21,000 for "contact to the head of a defenseless receiver," a League spokesperson confirmed on Thursday.
Conte made a play on Panthers' wide receiver Brandon LaFell in the Bears' 23-22 Week-8 victory over Carolina and was flagged for a personal foul when he appeared to make helmet-to-helmet contact.
"I didn't do anything," Conte said. "He was diving into me. I don't know what you want me to do.''
While the hit did not appear to be an intentional blow to the head, the NFL has made it apparent time and time again that intent is not the deciding factor in fining its players for potentially dangerous plays.
According to many players, the fines can create a conflict among players who are trying to make an impression on coaches (keep their job) vs. trying to protect themselves from League action.
Conte confirmed on Thursday that he will appeal the fine.