Tillman penalized for 'horse-collar' tackle in Vikings game, Briggs for hit on QB

Updated: December 22, 2007, 11:59 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Two veteran Chicago Bears defenders, cornerback Charles Tillman and weakside linebacker Lance Briggs, have been fined a total of $12,500 for what the league deemed illegal hits in the Bears' 20-13 loss to Minnesota on Monday night.

In the NFL's continuing crackdown on so-called "horse-collar" tackles, Tillman is the latest player to be sanctioned, and he was fined $7,500 for using the banned technique to drag down Vikings wide receiver Robert Ferguson.

The violation occurred about 2½ minutes into the third quarter, when Ferguson caught a 71-yard pass on a third-and-9 play that originated at the Minnesota 28-yard line. Tillman pursued Ferguson and dragged him down from behind at the Chicago 1-yard-line. Tailback Adrian Peterson scored for the Vikings on the ensuing play.

Game officials did not penalize Tillman at the time for the tackle. But in reviewing videotape from the game, league officials determined that the maneuver was a horse-collar tackle and subject to fine.

Tillman did avoid being fined for an earlier incident in the game, an unnecessary roughness call on a tackle of Vikings quarterback Tarvaris Jackson that set up a Minnesota field goal. That hit drew a 15-yard penalty.

Briggs was fined $5,000 for a second-quarter hit on Jackson, a play where he hit the quarterback in the head after a 19-yard completion. Briggs was flagged for a personal foul, the penalty moved the ball to the Bears' 28-yard line, and the drive culminated in a Vikings field goal.

It is not yet known if either Bears player will appeal his fine.

Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.