The New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has been fined US$10,000 (Dh36,733) for making a "snow angel" after scoring a touchdown last Sunday. Welker, who leads the league with 109 receptions, fell to the ground on his back just behind the end zone and brushed both arms and legs back and forth in the snow after catching an 11-yard pass from Matt Cassel in the second quarter. That gave New England a 28-0 lead in its 47-7 win over the Arizona Cardinals.
A league spokesman said the NFL had imposed the penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, specifically for participating in an illegal demonstration by going to the ground after his touchdown. According to the league rules, players are prohibited from going to the ground for a TD celebration unless it is in prayer. "It was a spur of the moment deal, and you can be sure that it won't happen again," Welker told the Boston Globe. Meanwhile, the winless Detroit Lions ended the seasons of the guard Edwin Mulitalo and the linebacker Jordon Dizon by placing them on injured reserve. Mulitalo started 11 of 15 games, and Dizon played in 12 games. The Lions replaced them by signing the guard Junius Coston and claiming the wide receiver Chris Hannon off waivers from the Dolphins. Detroit will try to avoid becoming the first NFL team to go winless in a 16-game season when it plays the Packers on Sunday in Green Bay.