Report: McCray fined for illegal hits

Updated: January 31, 2010, 9:59 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

It was the third-quarter hit during the NFC Championship Game that injured Brett Favre, a low blow the NFL is now acknowledging should have been called a penalty, reversing a subsequent interception.

"It's the type of hit that we don't want," NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said, "... because clearly we're trying to protect the knees and we need to focus on this to make sure we don't miss [them]."

Appearing on the NFL Network and NFL.com this week, Pereira said the right call had not been made during the New Orleans Saints' 31-28 overtime victory Sunday.

With the score tied 21-21, Favre took a hit from Saints defensive end Bobby McCray. The quarterback's left ankle was injured during the play, and he got it treated on the sideline and remained in the game.

"Pretty much a direct shot into the back of [Favre's] legs," Pereira said of the hit.

NFL.com reported the league fined McCray $20,000 for two incidents involving unnecessary roughness during the game, citing a league source.

In the first quarter, McCray delivered a blow to Favre out of the play. Then there was the third quarter hit to the legs.

The Vikings would have had a first down at the Saints' 19-yard line.

Instead, linebacker Jonathan Vilma's interception put the Saints at the 31, though they failed to score on the resulting series.