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Ravens' Rashaan Melvin cleared under NFL's concussion protocol

Ravens cornerback Rashaan Melvin left the game briefly Saturday night after being shaken up on a tackle of Pittsburgh Steelers running back Ben Tate.

Melvin went directly to the locker room before returning upon being cleared under the NFL's mandatory concussion testing protocol. He also received a personal foul for hitting Tate in the head and neck area. Tate appeared to be lowering his shoulder, which affected the strike zone for Melvin.

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"I'm good, man," Melvin said. "I'm strong-minded. I'm blessed. I got a little banged-up on the play and came in and the doctors did a great job with me and I was back on the field to help my team out.

"I didn't see no stars. I told them I was OK before I got off the field. It's the protocol."

Former Carolina Panthers cornerback Antoine Cason replaced Melvin, who later went back into the game and finished with seven tackles.

Melvin wasn't the only player flagged for unnecessary roughness for a high tackle.

Known as an intimidating hitter, Steelers safety Mike Mitchell was penalized for a tackle to the head and neck area when he hit Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones in the first quarter.

Although he was penalized for the tackle, Melvin insisted it was a legal hit. The NFL has made it a point of emphasis to try to get players to tackle lower to try to prevent concussions.

"I thought it was a good hit, I didn't get a chance to see the highlight," Melvin said. "He lowered his helmet or whatever it was. I thought I was in good position. I'd have to see it again, but I feel like the way I tackle is how the league wants us to tackle. I didn't think it was an illegal hit."

awilson@baltsun.com

twitter.com/RavensInsider

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