Chargers S Derwin James fined for illegal hit on Colts receiver

INDIANAPOLIS — Chargers safety Derwin James was fined $25,462 for the hit he laid on Colts wide receiver Ashton Dulin on Monday night, a hit that put both players in the concussion protocol and earned James an ejection from the game.

Under the NFL’s schedule of violations, James was likely fined for “use of the helmet/spearing/launching.”

The $25,462 is one of the highest amounts the NFL has handed out this season.

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The Chargers safety put his helmet on the side of Dulin’s helmet Monday night, immediately drawing an ejection, a ruling Colts coach Jeff Saturday believed was warranted.

“It was right in front of me, and it definitely deserved an ejection,” Saturday said. “You can’t launch into a guy’s head, especially a guy who’s turned the other way and unprotected.”

Los Angeles head coach Brandon Staley had initially tried to mount a defense of James in the immediate aftermath of the game, blaming the Colts and quarterback Nick Foles for putting Dulin in that position, although James had time to lower his target area and hit Dulin’s body.

“It’s a play where they obviously laid the guy out in a tough position, which is their fault, not ours, and Derwin made an aggressive play,” Staley said. “I’ve seen him make a lot of tackles on plays just like that, and I know that his target was not above the neck. I know that.”

The NFL apparently did not agree with Staley’s assessment of the penalty.  

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