Vikes' Farwell fined $7,500 for hit on Fitzpatrick

Although he has not yet been notified in writing, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Heath Farwell has been fined $7,500 by the league for a hit on St. Louis Rams quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in last Friday night's preseason opener.

A third-year veteran, Farwell plans to appeal the fine, which was first reported by the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer-Press and confirmed by the league.

Farwell, 25, was apparently sanctioned for hitting Fitzpatrick, who was knocked from the game by the blow, in the chest with the crown of his helmet. The Rams divulged this week that Fitzpatrick sustained a cracked rib on the play.

The play occurred with 2:41 remaining in the third quarter and St. Louis facing a second-and-13 from its own 30-yard line. A blitzing Farwell impacted Fitzpatrick as he threw a deep pass that was incomplete.

Farwell was flagged for roughing the passer on the play and drew a 15-yard penalty.

Battling for a roster spot, Farwell had a very strong outing in the preseason contest, leading Minnesota defenders with 10 tackles and adding a sack.

In two seasons, Farwell, a former San Diego State standout who signed with the Vikings as an undrafted college free agent in 2005, has 27 tackles. He has played primarily on special teams and has appeared in 23 games, including all 16 games in 2006.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.