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Pereira: Meriweather's shot on Heap a "cheap shot"

Mike Pereira has chimed in on the helmet-to-helmet blow that Ravens tight end Todd Heap absorbed in the team's 23-20 overtime loss to the New England Patriots Sunday, and he is not pleased.

Pereira, the NFL's Vice President of Officiating from 2004-09 who writes a column for Fox Sports, raised a red flag over the increasing number of helmet-to-helmet hits this past weekend, and he cited four instances in his column.

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No. 2 was Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather's blow on Heap in the second quarter, a play that resulted in Heap enduring what was later called a shoulder sprain and missing a few snaps before returning to the game.

"I cannot muster any kind of sympathy for Meriweather," Pereira wrote. "This is another cheap shot, and, in my mind, worse than the hit Cleveland's T.J. Ward put on Cincinnati's Jordan Shipley two weeks ago, and Ward was fined $15,000.

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"Meriweather clearly launched and went helmet-to-helmet against Heap, and Heap was injured on the play," Pereira continued. "At least Ward did not launch. This type of hit is totally avoidable, and another message needs to be sent by the league to all players, forcing them to realize this type of contact is not acceptable. I look for a big fine to come from the league against Meriweather."

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