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NFL fines Titans' Haynesworth $5K for hit on Chargers' Rivers

Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has been fined $5,000 by the NFL for what the league deemed an unnecessary hit on San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers in last week's 17-6 wild card-round defeat.

The play in question occurred with about four minutes remaining in the third quarter and with San Diego facing a second-and-seven at the Tennessee 44-yard line.

Before the snap, Haynesworth charged across the line and knocked Rivers to the ground. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness. He was also flagged for an encroachment foul, but that penalty was declined.

The penalty advanced the ball to the Titans' 29-yard line, and two snaps later, Rivers connected with wide receiver Vincent Jackson on a 25-yard touchdown pass that lifted the Chargers to a 10-6 lead.

"I wouldn't really say that it was a personal foul, but that's what they called," Haynesworth told The [Nashville] Tennnessean following the game. "The referee said he didn't want the game to get out of control, so that's why he called it. I guess I can understand that. It was a mental letdown."

It is not yet known if Haynesworth will appeal the fine.