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Ferguson's Teammates React To Darius Fine


The National Football League responded Tuesday to the violent hit Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius made on Robert Ferguson in Sunday's game, slapping the defensive back with a $75,000 fine for unnecessary roughness.

NFL Director of Football Operations Gene Washington issued the fine, noting in a letter to Darius that on a pass play, "you violently and unnecessarily struck your opponent in the neck and head area with your forearm."

Ferguson was temporarily left without feeling in his lower body and the receiver spent two nights in a Green Bay hospital as a result of the hit, which drew an ejection from the game for Darius at the time.

Some of Ferguson's teammates said Tuesday that they didn't feel the penalty was stiff enough.

"It should have been more actually," said Packers safety Darren Sharper. "Looking at that hit, it was unnecessary - just disturbing to see. I thought he would have been suspended a game because of the type of hit that it was.

"That's a lot of money. I definitely know that will raise his eyebrows a little bit, but you just can't put guys in that position. You're risking someone's livelihood and life doing those types of things. Whether it changes how he plays, we'll see - but (the fine) was warranted."

When asked about his reaction to the fine, Brett Favre said he would leave the disciplinary measures up to the league.

"It's not my call," said the quarterback. "I figured he would get fined a good bit. I heard his comments and I don't know Donovin personally, but he seems like a good guy. It's an unfortunate hit and his comments were that he was going for the ball and maybe he was.

"Maybe his sole intention was to knock the ball out, but it just didn't seem like it. I know things happen, but it just didn't seem like a fair hit to me."

Ferguson was released from the hospital Tuesday and is expected to rejoin his teammates in some capacity Wednesday at Lambeau Field. GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman has ruled the receiver out of Friday's game at Minnesota.

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