Panthers’ Luke Kuechly fined $9,000 for face-mask penalty on Lions RB

Panthers’ Luke Kuechly fined $9,000 for face-mask penalty on Lions RB

CHARLOTTE, NC (Joseph Person/The Charlotte Observer) - The NFL has fined Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly $9,115 for his face mask on Lions running back Ameer Abdullah in last week's game at Detroit, according to a league spokesman.

Kuechly's penalty was the first of two face-mask penalties against the Panthers on successive second-quarter plays. Shaq Thompson was flagged on the following snap, although his face mask on Abdullah did not merit a fine.

There was a big disparity in penalty calls in Carolina's 27-24 win at Detroit.

The Panthers were flagged 11 time for 100 yards, compared to one penalty for 10 yards for the Lions.

But Kuechly said after the game – before fines were announced – he didn't have a problem with the officiating.

"If you grab a guy's face mask it's a penalty," he said. "That stuff's pretty straightforward and I've got to avoid grabbing the guy's mask because it's a big penalty."

The calls swung the other way in Carolina's 28-23 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday night.

The Panthers, the league's least-penalized team, had one accepted penalty for 1 yard (an illegal formation called vs. defensive tackle Star Lotulelei on an extra point). Meanwhile, the Eagles were whistled 10 times for 126 penalty yards.