Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Saints' McCray fined $20,000

Posted by: under Vikings, NFC, Brett Favre, Bryant McKinnie, Chester Taylor, Percy Harvin Updated: January 29, 2010 - 5:34 PM

New Orleans defensive end Bobby McCray has been fined $20,000 for two hits on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre on Sunday in the Saints' victory in the NFC title game, according to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com. The NFL has confirmed the fines to McCray.

McCray was fined both for a first-quarter hit on Favre that was delivered after the quarterback had handed off to Percy Harvin and for the third quarter low hit on which Favre threw an interception and also injured his left ankle. 

No penalty was called on that play but Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, said that referee Pete Morelli's crew should have thrown a flag. McCray did receive a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness after his first hit.

Update: The Saints had at least two other fines in the game. Defensive end Anthony Hargrove was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter when he lifted Favre off the ground and drove him to the turf as he threw an incomplete pass to Chester Taylor. Hargrove was called for a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty.

New Orleans' Jonathan Casillas was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness for striking punt returner Darius Reynaud late as he downed the football in the second quarter. Casillas was called for a 15-yard penalty on the play.

On another note, our Mark Craig reports that Vikings left tackle Bryant McKinnie missed today's Pro Bowl practice and is subject to a fine from the league. From following McKinnie's tweets today, it appears as if he's fine and perhaps simply didn't feel like going through a football practice.

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