SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL on Wednesday for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks was fined $15,570 by the NFL on Wednesday for his hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees last Sunday.

Brooks' agent, Greg Williams, said his client would appeal the penalty — the standard fine for such hits to the head and neck area.

Brooks leveled Brees, forcing a lost fumble. But the personal foul penalty kept the ball in the Saints' possession, and they soon kicked two late field goals to win 23-20. The tackle left Brees with blood on his chin.

Brooks vehemently argued against the penalty, saying he didn't use his hands or helmet and called it a "bear hug." Brees labeled the hit a clothesline tackle. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh also reiterated Monday he thought the hit was clean.

"Our interpretation was, when we grade a player, if he's got a penalty we give him a minus, but we did not assign a minus on that play," Harbaugh said Monday. "The play occurred that occurred. I thought Ahmad hit at the right level, hit at the shoulder level. The quarterback kind of shrunk down and that's the official's call to make. I'm going to see it the way I see it and that's going to be a slanted view. I really don't know much more to say about that."

The linebacker also was fined $12,750 for a roughing-the-passer call against Aaron Rodgers during the season opener against the Green Bay Packers.

Brooks declined to speak to reporters Wednesday, when a downpour in the Bay Area caused Harbaugh to cancel an outdoor walk-through and move preparations for Monday night's game at Washington indoors.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers defended his teammate.

"That's bad," Rogers said of the fine. "When you look at it, it's a vicious hit. He's 260 pounds and I'm pretty sure Brees is a little over 200. Any time you blindside a guy like that it's a vicious hit.

"But when you slow it down, he didn't touch his head. I'm surprised in the fine. A lot of people are probably surprised. Enough's been said around the world about that hit. I think at the time, as a referee just seeing it, I think the back judge threw it, you have to throw that flag then. Unfortunately it hurts us on our side of the ball. That was a big play at that time of the game."

In other news for San Francisco, offensive lineman Mike Iupati sustained a sprained ligament in his left knee Sunday at New Orleans. It isn't considered to be season-ending, a person with direct knowledge of the injury said Wednesday.

An MRI this week revealed the sprained medial collateral ligament, and Iupati isn't expected to need surgery, the person said, requesting anonymity because the 49ers didn't reveal specifics on what happened to Iupati.

He walked to the sideline with assistance in the third quarter of a 23-20 loss at the Superdome and then was carted off to the locker room. The injury happened when running back Frank Gore got tackled into the back of Iupati's left leg.

The 26-year-old Iupati, a staple in San Francisco's veteran, much-improved O-line, has started every game since the 49ers selected him 17th in the 2010 NFL draft out of Idaho. That run would end if he isn't able to play Monday night at Washington.

"I don't know the timetable or how much time he might miss," the person said. "I'm not sure Mike knows. They're still evaluating him."

Iupati wasn't in the locker room during the portion open to reporters Wednesday, when the reigning NFC champion Niners (6-4) canceled a scheduled walk-through because of a downpour and moved their preparations for the Redskins indoors.

Coach Jim Harbaugh will next address the media Thursday. Adam Snyder, who didn't speak to reporters, would be the likely substitute to replace Iupati.

"Mike's a great player, a Pro Bowl player," running back Frank Gore said Wednesday. "He helps out our running game a lot, but Snyder is a vet player. He's been playing since he was a rookie. He'll be fine. But we will miss Mike. I think Snyder can come in and play."