Source: Lewis to appeal $25K fine
OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has been fined a total of $25,000 by the NFL for two separate violations in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's last-minute loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
One fine is for Lewis' helmet-to-helmet hit on Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco. The other was for an incident on a pass play late in the game; the league said Lewis "unnecessarily kicked" a Bengals player. It wasn't immediately clear whom Lewis kicked.
The hit on Ochocinco near the middle of the field sent the receiver's helmet flying. Sources said the NFL was primarily concerned with penalizing Lewis for unnecessarily striking a defenseless receiver.
The play came in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's 17-14 loss. Lewis was assessed a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness, which helped set up Cincinnati's winning touchdown with 22 seconds remaining.
After the game, the boisterous Ochocinco used his Twitter account to ask NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for leniency.
"Please don't fine Ray Lewis Mr. Roger Goodell, it was a clean hit, it's part of the game, save the fines for me," Ochocinco wrote.
Asked Wednesday if he expected to be fined, Lewis replied, "Probably."
Earlier, ESPN reported that the fine was for the hit on Ochocinco only.
On Friday, Lewis said, "I'm not talking about no fine."
Coach John Harbaugh said, "I'm disappointed. You hate to see that."
Asked about the play in which Lewis allegedly kicked a player, Harbaugh said, "It was an inadvertent trip that happened."
Harbaugh added: "Ray Lewis is a tough, a physical guy. Ray Lewis is also as great a sportsman as I've met. He plays good, clean football. I guarantee you the shot on Ochocinco was in the strike zone. I want to stand behind Ray in that sense."
The Bengals have won four straight games and lead the AFC North with a 4-1 record entering Sunday's game against Houston. The Ravens (3-2), who have lost two in a row, visit undefeated Minnesota.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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