Sims fined $50,000 for helmet hit

Eagles linebacker Ernie Sims was fined $50,000 for his second quarter hit on Tennessee receiver Lavelle Hawkins on Oct. 24, according to the NFL.

Sims was penalized for "unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver in the neck and head area with his forearms," according to a league spokesman.

There was some speculation following the game that Sims would be fined for what appeared to be an illegal helmet hit to Titans running back Chris Johnson in the first quarter. It appeared that Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel was mostly on the receiving end of the hit, however. 

Sims' fine was the first large fine handed out by the NFL since it sent a video to the 32 teams emphasizing what hits would bring big fines and possible suspensions. Sims is a repeat offender, having been fined twice for unnecessary roughness, on Dec. 28, 2008 and on Sept. 13, 2009, both while with the Detroit Lions.

The fine was issued by NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson, who told Sims that “further offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension.”