The league decided to back embattled referee Ed Hochuli, fining Panthers DE Julius Peppers $10,000 for last week's helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta QB Matt Ryan.
Many here, including Peppers himself, questioned the validity of the call, but the league's fine is an implicit vote of confidence for a ref who's been under the microscope all year.
Backup DT Darwin Walker was also fined $7,500 for a major facemask.
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