NFL official calls Meriweather’s hit a ‘cheap shot’

FOXBOROUGH — Ray Anderson, the NFL’s executive vice president of football operations, explained the decision behind the fines released today for three players, including Brandon Meriweather.

While doing an interview on the NFL Network moments ago, Anderson talked about Meriweather’s hit on Todd Heap in Sunday’s 23-20 overtime win for the Patriots.

“In Meriweather’s case, very frankly no place for that in the NFL,” Anderson said. “A gratuitous shot and some players, internally here, we would term that very frankly a cheap shot. No place [for that] in the game.”

In a release issued by the league tonight, it explained in further detail about why Meriweather received such a high fine for two illegal hits.

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The release stated: “In the second quarter of New England’s game against Baltimore, Meriweather unnecessarily struck an opponent in the head area with his helmet. Additionally, in the third quarter, Meriweather unnecessarily struck an opponent in the head and neck area.

“Those actions violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 8 (f) of the NFL Official Playing Rules, which states that it is unnecessary roughness if a player uses any part of his helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/“hairline” parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily.”