Joe Nicholson / USA TODAY Sports

Clay Matthews is paying the price for a hit that may have brought Brian Hoyer’s season to an early end.

The Green Bay Packers linebacker was fined $18,231 for leading with the crown of his helmet on a play last week that forced Hoyer to the sidelines with a broken forearm, according to multiple reports.

Hoyer, who started five games for the Chicago Bears following Jay Cutler’s thumb injury, is facing 6-8 weeks of recovery after undergoing surgery.

While such a time frame could conceivably allow him to return before the conclusion of the regular season, it remains to be seen whether the Bears will make him the lone player they can activate off injured reserve.

Neither Matthews, nor fellow pass-rusher Julius Peppers were penalized for the tandem hit during the game.

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