Bruce Irvin made his Detroit Lions' debut in Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints, with one sack and one quarterback hit over 11 snaps. That hit on Saints' signal caller Derek Carr drew a 15-yard penalty, because Irvin landed with his full weight on Carr rather than falling to the side like the league has prescribed pass rushers try to do when moving at the speed they do.
These days, hitting the quarterback at all brings a coin-flip chance someone will draw a flag for roughing the passer. A fine is the expected follow-up in many cases.
Talking to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk after the game last Sunday, Irvin noted having played with Carr in Oakland and knowing pressure would rattle him. That surely did not fuel any intent to injure Carr during last Sunday's game, but it was a bad mistake in his first game since January. The hit also knocked Carr out of the game.
Irvin knew a fine was coming for his hit on Carr. Such fines from the previous week's action are announced in a display by the league on Saturdays, but Irvin did not wait for that official announcement to reveal the fine he received to reporters in the locker room.
Bruce Irvin was not fined too badly for hit on Derek Carr
On Friday, Justin Rogers of the Detroit News passed along what Irvin said his fine amount was.
We have certainly seen a couple Lions' players get hit with ridiculous fines in recent weeks. Irvin got off easy by only getting a $7,000 fine for a hit on a quarterback, which left Carr with a concussion and more.
Update, Dec. 9, 4:10 p.m. ET: Irvin was fined $7,766.
But the league apparently did not think it was all that blatant or malicious, and subsequent injury like Carr had can't be reasonably layered into the process of levying a fine. It was Irvin's first game this season, but hardly his first game with heavy rules protecting quarterbacks, so that can't be a reason for the perceived leniency.
If nothing else, Irvin's light fine for his hit on Carr is another example of the NFL's randomness and inconsistency when it comes to doling out financial punishment. Not that he'll complain.