NFL fines Ravens' Reed $55K; Panthers' Newton $31K
Reed struck the wide receiver in the head and neck area, and was penalized for the hit in the game. He had a one-game suspension for several helmet-to-helmet hits reduced to a $50,000 fine last month.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked if Reed's punishment fit the penalty he was called for. Replays showed Reed lower his shoulder into Cruz, connecting first with his chest. Reed's shoulder then made contact with Cruz's facemask, which drew the 15-yard penalty.
"The system is not perfect, although the motivation is correct and the idea is right,'' Harbaugh said. "It's still a work in progress. I know our guys are doing everything they can, and I'm proud of our guys, to try to play within the rules and respect player safety.
"Sometimes it's easier said than done, but they are doing their best.''
Reed wasn't available for comment in the Ravens' locker room Friday, but has opposed his previous fines in the past.
"I just play the game,'' Reed said Thursday. "I'll let (the NFL) make those decisions.''
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was fined $21,000 for abusive conduct toward a game official, and another $10,000 for kicking Oakland's Tommy Kelly after a play was over. Newton shouted at and bumped referee Jerome Boger in the fourth quarter of Carolina's 17-6 victory.
Newton apologized after the game, saying "the words that I said during the game were very disrespectful and I apologized to (Boger) during the game, but I'm going public and apologizing again. It was something in the heat of the moment.''
Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy was fined $25,000 for striking Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer in the back with his helmet. Palmer suffered cracked ribs and a bruised lung on the play, and will not play in the team's season finale. Carolina safety Charles Godfrey was fined $21,000 for striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area.
Tennessee defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks was fined $7,875 for a facemask against Green Bay.
Houston cornerback Kareem Jackson was fined $21,000 for unnecessary roughness for hitting Minnesota wide receiver Jarius Wright in the head and neck area. Safety Danieal Manning was fined $10,000 for grabbing an opponent by the facemask.
Minnesota offensive tackle Matt Kalil was fined $10,000 for striking an opponent late against Houston.