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Bernard Pierce says on Twitter that he's 'fine' after big hit Saturday

Ravens running back Bernard Pierce downplayed the severity of the head injury he suffered on a high tackle from Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather in the first quarter Saturday night.

Pierce experienced minor concussion symptoms, and he was removed from the game to be examined under the NFL’s concussion testing protocol.

“If anyone was wondering, I’m fine,” Pierce wrote Sunday on his official Twitter account.

Pierce, who has rushed for 89 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries in the preseason, is expected to be ready for the Ravens’ regular-season opener against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 7 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Although that hit was legal, Meriweather was penalized in the second quarter for a personal foul for his helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver when he struck Torrey Smith. A repeat offender under league policies who was suspended for one game last season for an illegal hit, Meriweather could face more NFL discipline for his hit on Smith.

“I’m trying to do what the NFL asked me after going through the offseason and working on the things I need to work on,” Meriweather said. “The first chance I get, it seemed like I failed.”

Meanwhile, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata also could be fined for kicking Redskins guard Shawn Lauvao in retaliation for what he deemed a late hit on Ravens cornerback Dominique Franks.

“When I saw Lauvao do that, I kind of was just [ticked] that he was doing that and just nudged him,” Ngata said. “I was just trying to protect my player. No disrespect to Shawn because we know each other. It was the heat of the moment, and just was mad that he tried a late hit.”

Rice sitting against Redskins ‘was our plan’

Running back Ray Rice didn’t play against the Redskins on Saturday night as the Ravens continue to make preparations in advance of his pending two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

“That was our plan this week,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh didn’t say whether Rice will play in the Ravens’ preseason finale against the New Orleans Saints on Thursday.

It appears unlikely the Ravens would risk the three-time Pro Bowl selection potentially getting injured while running behind reserve offensive linemen. Rice is eligible to be reinstated by the NFL for the Ravens’ Sept. 21 regular-season game against the Cleveland Browns.

“Next week, we'll let you know,” Harbaugh said. “You'll see it when you see it.”

End zone

Rookie inside linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted his first NFL pass after middle linebacker Daryl Smith deflected an errant pass from Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. “Daryl did a great job breaking it up,” Mosley said. “I just broke on the play and got the interception. My main job there was to catch it and try not to lose the ball.” … Fullback Shaun Chapas hasn’t been playing because of a shoulder injury, according to a source. The injury was described as minor and not expected to keep him out this week. … Besides Rice, offensive tackle David Mims, quarterback Keith Wenning and running back Cierre Wood were the only players who didn’t play against the Redskins who aren’t injured.

awilson@baltsun.com

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