Ray Lewis Fined For Hit On Ochocinco

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- The NFL fined Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis $25,000 on Friday for two separate plays, including a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco.

The Ravens said Lewis will appeal the fine.

Both plays occurred in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's 17-14 loss on Sunday. The league deemed that Lewis "unnecessarily kicked the opponent" and later "unnecessarily struck a defenseless receiver."

During the latter play, Lewis hit Ochocinco after a pass from Carson Palmer sailed incomplete, and the 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness helped set up the winning touchdown with 22 seconds remaining.

Ochocinco lost his helmet during the collision, but immediately popped up from the turf. After the game, the boisterous receiver 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."

But the standout middle linebacker said that's just how he plays the game.

"If I had to change anything, I would do it the same way I've done it," Lewis said. "I will never slow down my speed, the way I play this game. I've never played this game to hurt anybody.

"But the bottom line is, when I turn to go, I'm like a missile. When I'm locked in, I'm locked in. Whatever's there is there. Worrying about fines and all that, I'll let that take care of itself. The NFL does a great job with that. You call them and discuss it with them."

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 a 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."