Matt Hasselbeck recognizes that he might be the only one who does not find it funny that the NFL fined him for a tackle.
“[It is] funny to other people probably,” he said. “Not funny to me.”
The Tennessee Titans quarterback hopes, at least, to be able to convince someone at the league office that his stop of Chicago Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden was not as bad as it appeared.
Officials called a penalty on Hasselbeck for a horse collar tackle on the play, which occurred early in the fourth quarter last Sunday after Hayden recovered a fumble and returned it 15 yards to the Tennessee 4. The league reviewed the incident and levied a $15,750 fine, according to reports.
Hasselbeck said he has appealed the fine.
“We have rules in place, and I understand the intent of the rules,” he said. “Obviously, I’m trying to play within the rules. I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody or anything like that. I watched the play [Tuesday] and watched it again [Wednesday].
“I’ll appeal it and hopefully they see it like we see it.”
There’s probably not much he can do about the fact that he continues to hear it from his teammates.
“I’ve been kind of been getting a lot of jokes,” he said. “Everybody wants to make jokes.
“We’ll see. The guy who got tackled probably didn’t even notice. There was nothing violent in the hit or anything like that.”
• Roster moves: The Titans signed veteran defensive end Jarius Wynn, who played 36 games for the Green Bay Packers from 2009-11 but was waived after training camp this year. He replaced Pannel Egboh, who was waived a day earlier.
“I think [Wynn] can play a little bit inside and outside, and [is] a little more experienced, I guess,” coach Mike Munchak said. “With the roster, we’re going to be experimenting with different guys, I’m sure, as we go forward here, as most teams do at this time of year.”
Also, Kyle DeVan was signed for the second time in eight days, this time to replace right guard Leroy Harris, who was placed on injured reserve with a right knee injury. DeVan, who was in training camp with Tennessee, was re-signed Tuesday for depth but waived Saturday when other roster spots needed to be addressed.
The Titans also signed former Tennessee State University linebacker Rico Council to the practice squad. Council was an undrafted free agent who spent the offseason and training camp with the Atlanta Falcons.
“We’ve been having such a run on linebackers this year, as far as guys getting hurt,” Munchak said. “You never know when you’re going to have to elevate one so we wanted to get one that we could see if it’s a possibility that he can help us on special teams.”
• Injury report: Of the 11 players listed on Tennessee’s injury report only three, linebacker Colin McCarthy (ankle), safety Al Afalava (ankle) and linebacker Xavier Adibi (knee), did not participate at all. Among the notable players credited with full participation were wide receivers Kendall Wright (elbow) and Kenny Britt (knee), cornerback Alterraun Verner (thigh) and quarterback Jake Locker (shoulder).
• Familiar face: When the Titans drafted defensive tackle Randy Starks in the third round (71st overall) in 2004, he was — at 20 years old — the youngest player on the roster and among the youngest in the NFL.
Now 28 and in his ninth NFL season, he is the second oldest player on the Miami Dolphins defense. In the final year of a five-year free agent deal he signed with Miami in 2005, he has 3.5 sacks through eight games, which puts him on pace to tie his career-high set in 2009.
“He’s done well,” Munchak said. “He’s a guy that left here and has done well. We had him a few years back, and he was getting a bunch of sacks then, and I think he’s got three-and-a-half this year and he’s playing well for them. I think he’s had a good career, and he’s still moving well.”
• Big gains: With his recent surge — 526 yards in the last four games — running back Chris Johnson has raised his season average to 5.01 yards per attempt. If he can maintain or improve that over the remainder of the season he will be the first player in team history to average better than five yards per carry in two seasons. He set the franchise record of 5.6 in 2009.