Matthews flew in and tackled Kaepernick while the 49ers quarterback was running out of bounds in second quarter of the game. That ignited a fight in which Matthews threw punches at 49ers tackle Joe Staley.
It also set off Jim Harbaugh, who told Matthews to fight like a man.
“If you’re going to go to the face, come with some knuckles, not an open slap,” Harbaugh said. “That young man works very hard on being a tough guy. He’ll have some repairing to do to his image after the slap.”
Matthews responded by saying that he is an “awesome player,” and not dirty.
Perhaps in a twist of fate, the referees mistakenly allowed the 49ers to replay third down after the Matthews hit when it should have been fourth down. On the ensuing play, Kaepernick connected with Anquan Boldin for a 10-yard touchdown on the very next play.
However, Matthews wasn’t the only one fined. 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $12,750 for roughing the passer, and Boldin was docked $7,875 for a late hit on Jarrett Bush in the third quarter.
In total, the fines add up to a hefty $35,625. The NFL is clearly not messing around with protecting its players.