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Falcons' Robinson fined $40,000 for illegal hit

(Reuters) - Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson has been fined $40,000 by the National Football League (NFL) for his hit on Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin in Sunday's game.

Robinson, who drew a 15-yard penalty on the play, lowered his head and led with the helmet as he hit Maclin in the head and neck area, which the league ruled a violation of their player safety rules.

Maclin was considered to be in a "defenseless posture" and did not have time to protect himself when he was struck, the NFL said in a statement on Monday.

Robinson, fined $25,000 last season for a head-on collision with Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, was warned by the NFL that he could be suspended with another violation.

"Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension," NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks said in a letter to Robinson.

Robinson can appeal the fine.

Several playing-rules changes were approved by NFL clubs last March to enhance player safety, including expanded protection for defenseless players.

(This story corrects Maclin's position in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue)