NEW YORK (AP) — New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas has been fined $30
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,000 by the NFL for using a phone as a prop for a touchdown celebration in last week’s victory over the Rams.Horn with his celebration, hiding the phone in the bottom of the goal post and pulling it out after scoring. He was fined for that and having a mobile device in the bench area.Also fined was Carolina defensive tackle Vernon Butler, whose hit on Buccaneers quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick cost him a hefty $40,110.Three players were docked $26,739: Ravens safety Eric Weddle for a hit on a defenseless receiver; Chargers rookie safety Derwin James for unnecessary roughness; and Texans safety Tyrann Mathieu (helmet-to-helmet hit).A facemask penalty cost Dolphins DE Andre Branch $20,054. Chargers DE Darius Philon was fined the same amount for a hit on Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. Chiefs LB Anthony Hitchens was docked $13
,369 for unsportsmanlike conduct.Fined $10,026 were Rams tackle Rodger Saffold (unnecessary roughness); Jets offensive lineman Brandon Shell (unnecessary roughness); Bills tight end Logan Thomas (late hit); Bears linebacker Aaron Lynch (unsportsmanlike conduct);Packers safety Jermaine Whitehead (unnecessary roughness; he was also ejected against New England); and Titans safety Kevin Byard (taunting by running to the Cowboys star at AT&T Stadium). Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz has said his back should be fine, and hopes it won’t be an issue next year.What remains a question, however, is how he’ll handle the pressure of replacing the guy who replaced him the last two years.Nick Foles stepped in and led the team to a Super Bowl last year and to an unlikely playoff push this year, but is expected to be dealt this offseason. Wentz knows that’s a hard act to follow.“It could [add pressure]. Without a doubt
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,” Wentz said, via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia. “You look at that and you could say it could put more pressure. I mean, you can say coming into the season there was more pressure. But I do everything I can to block that stuff out. I think right now, going forward, my focus is getting my body right. And to play this game freely the way I did last year before the injury and cut it loose. Get rid of all that pressure and anxiety and whatever it may be, just play the game freely. And that’s where I’m going to get to.”Wentz was careful to avoid specific questions about the future of either quarterback
, or his own contract situation, though discussion of the position will doubtless dominate Philadelphia sports radio the entire offseason.“I try not to think about all those things,” Wentz said. “I know there’s lots of he said, she said things out there, . . . but at the end of the day, I can’t control those. I can’t control those. What I can control is getting my body right
, getting healthy and getting myself back on the field to prove the player I can be.”And then and only then can he worry about how much of a challenge it will be to be better than his backup.