Meriweather fined $50,000 for hit on Heap

OWINGS MILLS -- The NFL fine police have enforced the rules, punishing New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather with a $50,000 fine as a consequence of his helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore Ravens tight end Todd Heap. Meriweather wasn't suspended, though.

Along with fellow rule offenders in Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison ($75,000 fine) and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson ($50,000 fine), Meriweather received a stern letter of warning from NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson.

"Future offenses will result in an escalation of fines up to and including suspension," Anderson wrote.

Meriweather launched himself into Heap in the second quarter of the Ravens' 23-20 overtime loss, knocking out his mouthpiece. Meriweather was flagged for a personal foul for hitting a defenseless receiver on the incompletion.

According to the NFL, Meriweather "unnecessarily struck an opponent in the head area with his helmet."

Meriweather also was punished for a similar third quarter infraction where he unnecessarily struck an opponent in the head and neck area.

It was determined by the league that he violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (f) of the NFL official playing rules, which state that it is unnecessary roughness if a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/"hairline" parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.

Heap suffered a shoulder stinger on the play but returned.

"Obviously, a lot of guys felt like it was one of those shots that shouldn't be taken," Heap said after the game. "I don't know. I can't really comment on it. I haven't seen it yet. I don't know how he hit me. I didn't see him coming obviously. I'll be able to make more comments on it after I've seen it."

Ravens nose guard Kelly Gregg thought the infraction warranted an ejection.

"That's football, but that penalty, I thought he would get kicked out of the game," Gregg said. "That's the game of football. There are going to be hits that you don't like, but you roll with it and move on."

The personal foul occurred two series after Heap caught a touchdown pass.

"That play should piss you off," fullback Le'Ron McClain said. "That got me ticked off. I guess that's how they play."

Ravens Insider Top Stories