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Timmy Jernigan on late-hit penalty: 'I'm not going to apologize for that one'

Timmy Jernigan on late-hit penalty: 'I'm not going to apologize for that one'
The Ravens' Timmy Jernigan, right, is penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, left, when he is out of bound in the first quarter. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Ravens defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan's 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for a hit out of bounds on Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith in the first quarter extended what became an 89-yard touchdown drive.

But Jernigan had no regrets about the play after the game, saying he didn't believe Smith would run out of bounds short of the first-down marker.

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"Obviously, he pulled up along the sideline, and when they called the penalty, it was noticeable, but if he's going to run along the sideline, I'm going to hit him every time," Jernigan said. "I'm not going to apologize for that one any time. I was running to the ball, and I saw the quarterback running along the sideline. To me, it doesn't look like the guy is noticeably slowing down and running out of bounds. So if you're along the sideline, I'm going to hit you. I don't care who you are."

Smith ran for six yards on the third-and-11 play, and the Chiefs were likely going to punt. But because Smith was so short of the first-down marker, Jernigan didn't see any indication the quarterback was finished with his scramble. He also didn't want to let up and allow Smith to run untouched down the sideline for a first down.

"Unless you make it obvious that you're going out of bounds, because if you're running along the sideline, and you don't go out, I'm going to have cameras in my face asking me why I didn't hit you," Jernigan said. "And then the quarterback runs for an 80-yard touchdown. So, I feel like I'm just doing what I can to help the team."

It was Jernigan's third personal foul this season — he had a roughing the passer penalty in Week 2 at the Oakland Raiders, and was also flagged for unnecessary roughness last week against the Seattle Seahawks. He sat for one play Sunday, then returned to the game.

"I don't need to justify that," coach John Harbaugh said. "Timmy Jernigan is a guy that I've talked to about that. He understands where we're at. I made the decision to keep him in the game."

Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil said the penalty is "the cost of doing business."

"[He's an] aggressive player, the way he comes about the game," Dumervil said. "Things will happen. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but it's something that he's a man about. He'll learn, and we just move on."

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