EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey took a costly nap after a third-quarter touchdown against Arizona last week.
Bailey hauled in an 18-yard score from quarterback Nick Foles with 5:53 to go in the third quarter of the Rams' 24-22 win against the Cardinals. After the catch, he promptly dropped to the ground and pretended to go to sleep in the corner of the end zone, using the football as a pillow.
Although no flag was thrown, Bailey's agent informed him Tuesday night that a fine was forthcoming.
Bailey received the official letter on Wednesday morning informing him that he's been fined $8,681 for using the ball as a prop during a celebration. Under the league's fine system, that falls in the category of taunting.
"I kind of had a feeling that it would be coming," Bailey said. "A lot of guys were telling me that I could possibly be fined. So I was kind of looking for it, but then I was just hoping that I didn't get it."
Bailey took to Twitter to reveal the fine Tuesday evening and to voice his displeasure. He even joked about starting a Go Fund Me account to raise money to pay the fine.
Bailey later deleted the tweets.
On Wednesday, Bailey explained the idea for the celebration.
"It was just something I kind of thought about before the game," Bailey said. "Just going up against an opponent like Arizona, everybody counted us out, so it was just a message to the world not to sleep on the Rams."
Earlier in the week, Rams coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams were fortunate not to get a penalty for the celebration. He spoke to Bailey about it on Monday.
"He used the ball as a prop," Fisher said. "It's a foul. It's a 15-yard penalty, and you're kicking off from the 15-yard line, and that's not part of what we do."
Bailey said he will appeal the fine this week but didn't sound hopeful that he'd win.
"I get a chance to appeal it," Bailey said. "I have just kind of been talking to my agents about what I need to do and who I need to speak to. So we are looking forward to doing that."
Bailey's argument for the fine essentially boils down to him not knowing the rule, saying that he wouldn't have done the celebration if he had known it. He also said he hoped that the speed with which he performed the celebration -- he fell and was back up in about three seconds -- would help him slide under the radar.
But while the brief celebration went over the heads of the game officials, the league didn't miss it.
"I kind of knew once I did it to make it quick," Bailey said. "I just stayed on the ground for about three seconds and popped up and celebrated with my team. It's a lesson learned."