Ryan Clark’s first fine for an illegal hit drew nothing but a remorseful nod from the Pittsburgh Steelers safety.
The second fine – this one for a violent collision with Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson on Sunday night – drew his wrath.
“This is the worst, period, point blank,” Clark said.
The Ravens were driving late in the first half when quarterback Joe Flacco tried to hit Dickson running up the seam.
Dickson got his hands on the ball before Clark smashed into him. Dickson wasn’t hurt on the play, though it appeared his facemask collided into the back of Clark’s helmet before the ball squirted free.
Clark was flagged for unnecessary roughness and the 15-yard penalty helped the Ravens end the half with a Billy Cundiff field goal on their way to a 23-20 victory.
The next day the league hit Clark with a $40,000 penalty for what Clark felt was a perfectly normal play and left him wondering if the NFL has gone too far in policing dangerous hits.
“There wasn’t anything malicious about it,” Clark said. “It wasn’t a spear. It wasn’t a forearm to the head. It wasn’t any of those things and to be fined $40,000 for that? To me it’s either targeting me as a single player or it’s targeting this team.”
The Steelers have been fined 13 times for more than $182,000 this season.
The fine was the second in as many weeks for Clark. He didn’t appeal when the league slapped him with a $15,000 fine for hitting New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski out of bounds in a 25-17 Pittsburgh victory on Oct. 30.
Fined for shoes
Chicago Bears wide receiver Earl Bennett has drawn a $5,000 fine from the NFL for wearing bright orange shoes in Monday night’s 30-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Bennett said he probably won’t wear the shoes against the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Soldier Field.
“They say they will double the fine, so, it would be 10 grand,” Bennett said. “And I don’t think my wife would like that.”
Bennett was asked if he got an explanation for what was wrong with the cleats.
“They were too orange, I guess,” he said.
Around the league
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claimed Albert Haynesworth off waivers, one day after the defensive lineman was released by the New England Patriots. … The St. Louis Rams got a lift for their struggling offense, activating wide receiver Mark Clayton from the Physically Unable to Perform list.
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