Despite no penalty on the play, Bears' Urlacher fined for horse-collar tackle

Updated: October 20, 2007, 11:29 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The NFL continues to crack down on defenders who use the outlawed "horse-collar" tackle, and Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher has been fined $7,500 for an incident in last Sunday's loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

Brian Urlacher

Urlacher

Urlacher is the second Bears' defensive player sanctioned this year for the illegal maneuver, which was banned in 2005.

Rookie defensive back Corey Graham was fined for using a horse-collar tackle in a Sept. 30 game against Detroit. He has appealed the fine.

The ban against the horse-collar technique is often referred to as the "Roy Williams Rule." The Dallas strong safety came under scrutiny during the 2004 season for repeated use of the horse-collar technique, in which a defender grabs an offensive player on the back of his shoulder pads and yanks him down.

In studying the tackle, the NFL's competition committee concluded that it had contributed to several lower extremity injuries in 2004.

On the play for which he was fined, a run by Minnesota tailback Chester Taylor midway through the second quarter, Urlacher was not penalized by game officials. But the NFL officiating department, in reviewing videotape of the game, determined that Urlacher's hit on the play constituted a horse-collar tackle.

Urlacher will likely appeal the fine.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.