Word came out today that 49ers linebacker Larry Grant was fined $15,000 for what is being deemed an illegal hit on Cardinals QB John Skelton. Grant was in pass rush mode early in the third quarter when LaRod Stephens-Howling went low to try and flip him up and over. Grant adjusted and got back to his feet and dove to tackle Skelton.
As this picture (provided by Tre9er) shows, Grant's shoulder and the force of the hit is on Skelton's thigh. The issue that might have caught the league's eye is how his hands are wrapped below the knee. That should not be the basis for any sort of discipline. The rule is meant to protect QBs taking bad hits at the knee, like we saw happen to Tom Brady a few years back. This hit shows Grant driving himself into the thigh of Skelton.
If you have NFL Rewind you can review the play yourself. It is at the 11:45 mark of the third quarter. I am not surprised the play drew a flag amidst the fast nature of the game. But, when the NFL Football Operations Department has a chance to review the play via numerous replays, I cannot see how they missed the end result of this play. Merton Hanks and/or Ray Anderson handle the initial reviews for the NFL and they seemingly whiffed on this play.
Grant has indicated he is appealing the fine.