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League fines Bernard Pollard $40,000

Bernard Pollard, Kevin Bentley, Kassim Osgood

Houston Texans safety Bernard Pollard (31) cannot hang on to a pass for an interception in front of Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kassim Osgood, back, as Houston Texans’ Kevin Bentley (57) comes in to help during the first half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)

AP

In a move that serves only to highlight the inexplicable inconsistency regarding the rules that apply to in-game hitting and post-whistle punching, Texans safety Bernard Pollard has been fined $40,000 for unnecessary roughness in Week 12 against the Titans, according to Jay Glazer of FOX.

The fine arose in the same game that resulted in Texans receiver Andre Johnson being fined $25,000 for removing the helmet of Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan and punching him multiple times in the head.

Though we’ve been critical of the Steelers for their criticism of the league for fining linebacker James Harrison in reaction to hits that violate critical NFL safety rules, the league has created an atmosphere of confusion by imposing lesser penalties for actions that “seem” worse than inadvertently hitting in the helmet and/or with a helmet a player who has just caught or thrown a pass.

The Pollard fine, issued in the same game in which Johnson was fined $15,000 less for something that seemed much more offensive, is the latest example of the mixed signals that will undermine player and fan confidence in the league.