The Raiders lost one starting defensive lineman to injury but were spared losing another for disciplinary reasons Monday, as Richard Seymour was fined but not suspended for knocking down Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in a 35-3 loss to the Steelers.
Seymour, according to an NFL spokesman, was fined $25,000 for violating Rule 12, Section 2, Article 1(c) which prohibits "striking or clubbing with the hand to the head, neck or face of an opponent."
Had Seymour received a one-game suspension, the Raiders could have been without half of their starting defensive line for their next game against Miami, as starting end Trevor Scott was lost in the final seconds of the first half Sunday with a torn left ACL while in punt coverage.
Seymour's incident occurred with 1:26 left in the half after a 22-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Seymour was engaged in an altercation with Pittsburgh guard Chris Kemoeatu, at which time Roethlisberger approached him and was quickly dropped to the turf by Seymour's open right hand. Seymour and Kemoeatu received offsetting personal fouls, and Seymour was ejected from the game.
Seymour was not available for comment Monday but told reporters after the game he was sorry for letting his teammates down.
Before word of the fine came down, coach Tom Cable said at his weekly media briefing that Seymour "texted me last night and feels bad about it and knows he was wrong,
Considered a defensive leader and enjoying one of his best seasons going into the Pittsburgh game, Seymour has a reputation for occasionally playing outside of the rules. He received two fines last season, $7,500 for pulling the hair of Denver tackle Ryan Clady on Sept. 27 and $10,000 for hitting after the whistle against Cleveland on Dec. 27.
Seymour's ejection was the most noteworthy of several skirmishes and scuffles that broke out between the Raiders and the Steelers throughout the game. Pittsburgh was penalized 14 times for 163 yards, the latter figure a club record, and Oakland had seven penalties for 55 yards.
"It doesn't change my approach," Gradkowski said. "It's like an up-and-down roller coaster, but you have to keep grinding, keep going. I felt great in the game. I felt ready to go. As long as I feel good I can't worry about the rest. I'll just keep working hard and be ready."
Options include switching weak side linebacker Quentin Groves to defensive end, the position he played for two years in Jacksonville. Groves would alternate with Matt Shaughnessy in the rotation at right end.
In that case, rookie Travis Goethel, who subbed for Groves for a time against Pittsburgh, could be the third rookie in the starting lineup, joining middle linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Lamarr Houston.
Cable said the Raiders also might see if there are any ends available in free agency.
Miami (5-5) at Raiders (5-5), 1:05 p.m., CBS