Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather has been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his hits on Ravens tight end Todd Heap on Sunday, but he was not suspended.
The amount is a clear message that the NFL means business in its crackdown on helmet-to-helmet hits on defenseless players. A slew of incidents Sunday prompted the NFL to announce it would deal with vicious hits with suspensions in the future.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said via his Twitter account, that the league did not suspend players this week because "fair warning needed to be given to players & clubs before increased discipline starts to include game suspensions."
He added that tomorrow, teams, coaches, and players will receive information about the "increased discipline for violations of player safety rules."
Reports have also emerged that at least two other players involved in questionable hits have also been fined. The Steelers' James Harrison was fined $75,000, and the Falcons' Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000, according to NFL Network's Jason LaCanfora.
Meriweather hit Heap twice. He received a 15-yard personal foul in the second quarter, but was not called for a hit at the goal line earlier in the game. ESPNBoston.com's Mike Reiss and the NFL Network's Albert Breer were first to report the Meriweather fine.