EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) _ Vikings kick returner Nate Jacquet says he'll appeal a $5,000 fine imposed by the NFL this week for taunting an opponent.

Jacquet threw a football at Carolina's Karl Hankton in the fourth quarter of their Sept. 9 season opener, which the Vikings lost 24-13.

He was penalized nine yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after throwing the ball at Hankton, who tackled him for no gain on a punt return. Hankton had pushed Jacquet on the side of his helmet, provoking him, Jacquet said.

Hankton was not penalized or fined.

Jacquet was upset at being penalized when it occurred, and wasn't pleased about the fine. He said Thursday he will appeal.

``I can understand it somewhat because I lost my cool,'' Jacquet said. ``But he wasn't penalized or fined. ... The referee said he didn't see what he did. But I did, and that's the way it goes.

``Still, I have to defend myself. I'm not going to get hit and do nothing about it. I was just standing up for myself,'' Jacquet said.