Ray Lewis' hit on Hines Ward on Sunday was costly not only to the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, but to the Ravens linebacker as well.
Lewis was fined $20,000 after he made helmet-to-helmet contact while tackling Ward during the second quarter of the Ravens' 23-20 victory at Heinz Field. Ward, who dropped the ball on the play, did not return to the game because of concussion symptoms, though Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Ward's injury was minor.
"I heard from the league, and they fined me whatever they were going to fine me, but I'll definitely call in [an appeal]," Lewis said Wednesday. "I think the thing is, you definitely respect them trying to protect players' safety, but at the same time, it won't change the way I play in this league, no matter what the fine is. You just can't stop playing defense the way this defense has always played.
"If the receiver has the ball, it's your job to disengage him from the ball. You never want to hurt anybody. I've been in this business too long, and the last thing you want to do is hurt anyone. But I just think that once you start getting into these fines — and I don't even know how they come up with these numbers — just get done with it and whatever it is. I'll talk to the league and move on from there."
Asked whether he planned to call Ward, Lewis said: "No. Talk to Hines Ward about what? I mean, you don't have conversations after hits. You just keep moving."
Steelers safety Ryan Clark was fined $40,000 after he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Ravens tight end Ed Dickson late in the second quarter. Clark, who also was fined the previous week for a hit on the New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski, led with his shoulder, but his helmet also made contact with Dickson's. He was given a 15-yard unnecessary-roughness penalty, which set up Billy Cundiff's 51-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
James Harrison, the Steelers' frequently fined linebacker, is also expected to hear from the NFL after he speared Ray Rice while the running back was on the ground in the third quarter.
Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans, who has been sidelined with a left ankle injury since Week 2, returned to practice on a limited basis. Evans said Wednesday was his "third or fourth" attempt at practicing on a limited basis since he was shut down in September.
"We're going to try to see," he said, indicating that he hopes to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. "I'm going to go out there and do a little bit today and see what happens. But it's been a while since I've been out there, so hopefully it feels good."
Linebacker and special teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo, who suffered a minor concussion against the Steelers, practiced on a limited basis in noncontact drills. He is expected to take a concussion battery test as early as Thursday, and he expects to face the Seahawks.
"There's not too many symptoms, so I'm feeling good," he said. "For my first concussion — I've heard of people throwing up, dizzy, can't watch TV, sensitive to light — I don't really have any of that stuff."
Ayanbadejo did say he has slight amnesia, and he's disappointed that the details of the late comeback against the Steelers are fuzzy in his mind.
"I don't remember the fourth quarter of the game," Ayanbadejo said. "I remember everything up until the point where I got hit. I feel like I kind of cheated. … To have so many heartbreaks against Pittsburgh and to win a game like that where we came from behind and won on the last drive, and for me to not feel the emotional high, I feel like I was robbed."
Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (hamstring) also returned to practice on a limited basis.
Center Matt Birk (neck) was the only Raven who didn't practice. Ayanbadejo, Evans, Ellerbe, running back Anthony Allen (thigh) and tight end Kris Wilson (calf) were all limited participants.
McClain mourns Frazier
Growing up in Philadelphia as an aspiring amateur boxer, Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain found a mentor in the city's boxing champion, "Smokin'" Joe Frazier. McClain, who was 6-1 while competing in area Golden Gloves tournaments, was given his first pair of boxing trunks by Frazier.
That's why Monday's news that Frazier had died at age 67 after a short bout with liver cancer hit McClain hard.
"It's bad news for the world, but [especially] for Philly," McClain said. "Philly needed a hero. Everybody needed somebody to look at, and Joe Frazier was that guy. He was somebody that fought through all the odds. He was the true definition of what people thought an underdog was, but he was always at the top of his game. Looking at what Joe did, how he fought against the odds day-in and day-out and still had the success that he did, that's definitely given me some motivation."
McClain said he met Frazier on several occasions but hadn't spoken to the legendary boxing champion in years.
"I'll hold on to the memories," McClain said. "He'll be missed, and it's unfortunate for his family."
The Ravens signed linebacker Josh Bynes to their practice squad. Bynes, who takes Chavis Williams' spot after he was promoted to the active roster last week, was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent out of Auburn but didn't make the team out of training camp.
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