Ray Lewis fined for hit on Hines Ward

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On Sunday night, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis applied a clear helmet-to-helmet hit to Steelers receiver Hines Ward after Ward caught a pass.  Lewis wasn’t penalized for a blow that caused Ward to leave the game with what the team eventually (and perhaps reluctantly) called “concussion-like symptoms.”

Lewis is now suffering from a case of fine-like symptoms.

Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times reports that Lewis has been notified by the league office that he’s been fined for the illegal hit on a defenseless receiver.

“Yeah, I heard from the league and like I said they fined me whatever they was going to fine me,” Lewis said.  “The thing is you definitely respect them trying to protect player safety.  At the same time, it won’t change not one way I play this week no matter what the fine is.  You can’t stop playing defense the way defense has always been created to play.  When the receiver has the ball, your job is to disengage him from the ball.  You never want to hurt nobody.  I’ve been in this business too long.  I just think once you start getting into these fines I don’t know how they come up with the numbers most of the time.”

Lewis didn’t disclose the amount.  (And no one apparently has had the nerve to ask him.)

The bigger problem is that the officials, who are told to err on the side of protecting players, failed to penalize Lewis.  The best way to avoid such outcomes would be to make these calls immediately reviewable by the replay officials, without the time-wasting, dog-and-pony exercise of the referee walking over to the sidelines, putting on a headset, talking to the replay official, climbing under the hood of the mobile ballot box, pondering the replay angles, removing the headset, walking out onto the field, and providing an explanation that often is way too wordy, especially when Ed Hochuli is working the game.

It’s a helmet-to-helmet hit, or it isn’t.  The replay official should have the power to throw the flag from the replay booth.

I don’t mean that literally.  Then again, it could be fun to watch the yellow flag sail down from the second deck.

85 responses to “Ray Lewis fined for hit on Hines Ward

  1. Mike, do you realize how ridiculous games would be with replay review for helmet to helmet hits?

    Do you not agree that a great majority of tackles involve some sort of helmet to helmet contact?

    Perhaps the best way is to save the flag for the most egregious violations, skip the replay, and deal with it on a fine/suspension basis afterwards.

  2. i dont think Ray cares he was fined. And dont make those plays reviewable, football will become longer than baseball….booooo

  3. he didnt launch, thats why no penalty, very good hit but his helmet did hit the other helmet…how gay is that to say. Helmets cant hit each other in football.

  4. Or since Harbaugh challenged the play that was initially ruled a catch, perhaps the ref reviewing the play should have the power to say “Since the only reason he dropped the ball was because of an illegal action, it is a catch.”

  5. Ray Lewis is a thump. I wish he would do that sh*t against Vernon Davis when they play. Patrick Willis will have a way better career than R. Lewis! Go 9ers!!

  6. funny how clark got called for it but lewis didnt…the call on clark led to a fg before the half which in turn cost the steelers the game. the non call on lewis cost the steelers a first down and fg range. clark’s was borderline and lewis’s was obvious.

  7. Every week there are about 1 or 2 true helmet to helmet hits, the rest are blown calls. The rule should be that if ANY part of the defensive players body touches the offensive player before the helmets colide it is no longer a helmet to helmet hit. Most of these guys make contact first and then hit helmets like what happened in Ray’s case.

  8. Told you he would get fined. Can we get the personal foul thatthe ref didnt call? That woulda put us 1st & goal at the 5 yard line! Like I said cryven fans have got every break. Any justice in this world..see ya in january! Cant wait!

  9. Paying out large sums of money due to his violent actions (both on AND off the field) is old hat for Lewis.

    Compared to what he had to pay for lawyers, civil settlements, and a record NFL fine for his little adventure in Atlanta a few years ago, this thing with Ward amounts to “chump change”.

  10. Eh, if it doesn’t get flagged, no sense getting excited about a fine. I noticed that the hit on Ward represents about 50% of RayRay’s contribution to the entire game. What’s up?

  11. A flag and/or refusal to overturn the ruling on the field (especially after seeing the clear screw-up of not calling a penalty when reviewing the play) would have been much more timely and helpful.

  12. Lewis should be given a bonus.

    Ward is the a dirty player. He deserves to get taken out of the league by injury. Just ask Keith Rivers.

    BTW.. Steelers will be losing this weekend.

  13. Why don’t the NFL invest this fine money into developing safer equiptment because I have a hard time beliving that helmet to helmet hits just magically increased in the past couple years maybe the helmets are just outdated for the speed and impacts of today’s NFL

  14. He’s probably not worried because the rest of the League will chip in to help pay any fine for hitting Ward.

  15. Lewis did hit Ward in the helmet and should’ve been flagged if that’s the rule. But to say Clark’s hit was borderline makes you delusional. I don’t know what game you were watching but my friends who are Steelers fans said both should’ve been called but only one was, which I agree with (even if I don’t agree with the rule itself).

  16. Inconsistency is the problem. Every time there is a big hit, you have to wait 5 seconds to make sure there is no flag so you can celebrate. It’s a joke. Making every play reviewable will make it even worse. The days of highlight reel hits are coming to an end. Instead these plays are replayed over and over on TV and scrutinized and dissected in super-slow motion. This trend all started when ESPN removed their popular segment “Jacked Up” because it celebrated violence. How laughable is that? Ironic considering it was taken off the air during the same time period Goodell took over as commissioner.

  17. I seem to remember harbaugh commenting last season that helmet to helmet hits were no longer part of the game and that his team knew that and was following league rules. Guess he was wrong.

  18. The penalty should be called for leading w/ the helmet. That’s it. You can’t start reviewing things of this nature. What if you’re in the 2minute. And this occurs, all momentum is lost for the offense, because the defensive player, may or may not of contacted the receiver w/ his helmet.

  19. As a Steelers fan, I would have rather have the 15 yards and a 1st down. I am sure that the bounty he collected more than covered the fine.

  20. Hines Ward has made a long list of enemies, and a long list of highlight reels by seeking out defenseless players and “blocking” them. Not surprised at all to see him go out like this. Not saying that he deserves it, but, he deserves it.

  21. “The difference is Clark has a history of hits meant to destroy. See: 2008 AFC Championship near crippling hit on Willis McGahee”

    And Ray Lewis doesn’t? Good god, you’re a blind homer.

  22. Ravens beat the Steelers twice AND Sliding Hiney gets leveled in both games (game 1 clean hit by Jarrett Johnson, game 2 illegal hit by Ray Lewis)

    What a great year to watch the NFL!

  23. I don’t think any of these guys would want to be responsible in causing any long term injuries to their fellow league members.
    If you watch Hines on that catch it sure looks like he dipped his head and that causes Ray to go helmet to helmet. Ray Lewis has to protect himsef as well from the offenisve players helmet causing him any harm. The offenisve players are getting off really easy in these helmet to helmet hits. It seems that you would have to change the way offenses play, so you even the playing field.

  24. You can try to legislate safety, but you can’t fully fix it. You can try helmets with all the latest technology, but you can’t fully fix it.

    The reality is that football at a very basic level is going to cause hits like this. It can’t be avoided. Some things simply cannot be fixed because they are fundamentally unsolvable. The only way to fix concussions is to stop tackling, and then it’s not football anymore. That’s why I think football is going to slowly fade away over the next few decades. Parents aren’t going to sign their kids up for this.

    Players are bigger and faster and stronger all the time, so the hits just keep getting harder. I’m skeptical that there is any solution, but the one I think has the best chance is to implement a weight limit by position. Hits won’t be as vicious when you have a 210 pound linebacker demolishing someone instead of a 260 pound linebacker.

  25. Both plays based on current rules should have been flagged.

    No refs ruling cost the Steelers the game, they took two touchdowns form the Ravens with bad calls too. Steelers inability to stop the Ravens cost them the game.

    anybody putting Clark, Harrison and Lewis in the same category of dirty player just absolutely knows nothing about the game. Harrisona dn Clark go for the head, Ray makes first contact with his shoulder and rides up into the WRs head.

    Ray Lewis is the greatest tackler in the game – EVER. No comparison, not even a distant second.
    Harrison and Clark try to hit a player when they could have just tackled them. The Steeler fans comments here are just ridiculous and to meet the Ravens again in January the Steelers have to make the playoffs first

  26. Ward had it coming …. he broke Keith Rivers jaw on one crack back and had numerous cheap shots.

    Anything that is owed, Ray Lewis will guarantee.

  27. I am not a Ray Lewis fan but I would have given him a reward if I was the comish. Finally someone knocked that smug smile off of Ward’s face. Ward is done as a football player.

  28. Ray Lewis is far from Mr. Clean. He got fined for a helmet to helmet hit and kicking in the same game in 2009 against the Bengals.

    — is it “illegal” to post links here? everytime I do the post gets deleted so I’ve stopped —

    Here is a paragraph from Jamison Hensley’s 10/16/2009 ESPN article.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    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.

    Chad Ochocinco lost only his helmet when the full force of Ray Lewis met him in the fourth quarter 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.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  29. Ray Ray is a dirty rat bird…plain and simple…he’ll get what’s coming to him they always do!!

  30. I love that everyone hates hines, the steelers & fans of the steelers. That means youre the top team in the nfl. I’d be more worried if nobody commented on the steelers. So I just wanna thank everyone for their jealousy & envy! Cause I absolutely LOVE IT! VIVA STEELERS!

  31. Just wondered what Walt Coleman thought when he went under the hood to view Harbaugh’s challenge of a completed catch? — Oh crap, we’re going to get downgraded for missing this one

  32. somesome says:

    The Steeler fans comments here are just ridiculous and to meet the Ravens again in January the Steelers have to make the playoffs first.

    Last I checked, the crows are 1/2 game up on the Steelers. The season is a long one. You might want to take a look at the game tapes from Jacksonville and Arizona. Find that level of play for a few weeks and the crows will be right back where they belong.

    Go Steelers!

  33. supashug says:
    Nov 9, 2011 1:47 PM
    he didnt launch, thats why no penalty, very good hit but his helmet did hit the other helmet…how gay is that to say. Helmets cant hit each other in football.

    you dont have to launch to do it intentionally when the receiver has his back to you and you intentionally put your helmet out at the receiver first then it should have been a penalty.but he got away with it during the game.and now he will be a target like harrison was last year.

  34. worldsgreatest says:
    Nov 9, 2011 5:23 PM
    Going by Wards very public stance on playing through concussions, he is a quitter for not going back in.

    you need your head examined douche bag.when a player gets a concussion the team takes the helmet from the receiver letting them know they are not aloud back in the game by league rules..so your comment is dumb .say nothing unless you know what you are talking about

  35. cowboyhater says:
    Nov 9, 2011 2:52 PM
    Something about Lewis that rubs me the wrong way. He always speaks about righteousness, and morality but it seems a bit insincere to me.
    ………………………………………………………………………….

    you noticed that also?lol i thought i was the only one..guess he speaks of a different god..

  36. Hey Steelernation! How are you? I hope your day has been good: you seem grumpy.

    I know the rules perfectly well. So lighten up as I comment snarkily on Ward ignorantly questioning the toughness of teammates, publically, based on not playing through concussions.

    Have a cheeseburger.

  37. There’s one MAJOR difference between Ray Lewis’s hits that make contact with a helmet, and Ryan Clark’s helmet to helmet hits.

    When Ray Lewis tackles, he is ALWAYS looking at who he is hitting. Ryan Clark ALWAYS has his head down, staring at the ground, clearly USING his helmet.

    Ryan Clark simply doesn’t know how to tackle. Ray Lewis tackles hard, and when you’re leaning forward your head will most likely make contact with something. If the ball carrier lowers his head… you’re probably going to make contact with his head.

  38. Do you think Ray Lewis really cares?

    Also, does anyone know how to see the list of stories you post on? I used to be able to, but they changed the format and haven’t figured out how to see it. Any help would be appreciated.

  39. At least Hines will take his hit and not cry about it.

    I need to face facts. The football I love is dying. I didn’t have a problem with any of the hits during this game and I really don’t care if Lewis got fined. The real travesty is the inconsistency of the calls. It’s ruining the game.

    And… if they actually want to eliminate these hits, get rid of the pads and helmets. They make this game more violent.

  40. This isn’t the era to play defense in the NFL. If I was a 2 sport althelete and played defense ,coming out of college…. it would be an easy decision.

  41. The appropriate response to a personal foul is to throw a flag, mark off the yards, and move on. What purpose is served by fining players after the game is over??

    If Goodell wants to better protect players, he should be working on better helmet design instead of issuing pointless, petty fines. Funny, but he never seemed concerned about these issues until a) Congress came knocking, and b) high-scoring offenses increased revenues by attracting more (uninformed) female and casual viewers. This isn’t about protecting players. It’s about covering the NFL’s backside with Congress and increasing casual viewership by castrating defenses.

  42. Whatever the fine it was worth it to knock that sh*t eating grin of of cheap shot Wards face. And to all of the Ray Lewis haters, I had no idea so many of you were in Atlanta to witness what happened. And as for the crying ravens name, who is crying Pittsburg. If you were any good you would have stopped the 80 yard drive with a minute and change to go. Sure bring on January. then we will sweep the year not just the series. You keep crying about breaks. The biggest break you got was keeping Rapelessburger out of jail. But oh yeah, I wasn’t there so who am I to say.

  43. I would also like to say, and not on the Ray Lewis hit, but other plays in the NFL. If leading with the helmet is against the rules and the league really cares about safety, then stop the runners from lowering and leading with the helmet. The defensive players bends down to put his shoulder into the runners waist and then the runner leans over and hits the defensive player helmet to helmet and it’s the defensive players fault. Not good.

  44. “I’m not going to follow the rules and you can’t make me!!” *foot stomp* * pout* “You, stupid butt!”

    Yeah, Ray, that’s exactly what you sound like – in three year old.

  45. “Patrick Willis will have a way better career than R. Lewis.”

    That is literally the funniest thing I’ve ever read in PFT comments.

  46. Ahhh…it’s so refreshing to have a player get fined without pissing and moaning about how unfair it is, or that Goodell is picking on him. Thanks, Ray! I just wish the cry-baby steelers and their fans could do the same.
    I love Hines Ward, but karma bit him in the a##

  47. Instead of a fine, why not eject the offender and then penalize him by suspending him for twice as long as the hurt player is out. This would put a stop to it!

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