SANTA CLARA — The big-time hit that 49ers safety Donte Whitner put on Falcons running back Steven Jackson cost the 49ers 15 yards, but it isn't costing Whitner any money.

The league informed Whitner on Thursday that the hit by Whitner that flattened Jackson in Monday night's game doesn't merit a fine.

"Great news! I didn't get fined! Thank you @nfl!," Whitner said via Twitter upon learning the news.

This marks the third time this season that Whitner avoided a fine from the league for hits he delivered that were deemed infractions by game officials. The first two times came as a result of helmet-to-helmet blows.

Whitner wasn't fined on one of those occasions. He successfully appealed a $21,000 fine in the other instance.

On Monday night against the Falcons, Whitner timed a screen pass for Jackson, arrived just as the ball got to Jackson and knocked him off his feet with a shoulder-led blow to the upper torso on Jackson.

An official called Whitner for unnecessary roughness on a play that looked as if it could have been called either way.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said it's for others to pass judgment. However, when informed that Whitner wasn't fined for his hit, Fangio said: "There's your answer."

Whitner said after the game that Jackson wasn't defenseless and that he led with his shoulder and hit Jackson in the chest.

"I don't know what else you want me to do," Whitner said after the 49ers beat the Falcons 34-24.

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow Steve Corkran on Twitter at twitter.com/CorkOnTheNFL.