Steelers' Clark, Ravens' Lewis fined for Sunday hits

(Reuters) - Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis were fined for overly aggressive contact in their hard-hitting AFC North showdown on Sunday, according to National Football League website

Clark was fined $40,000 for a second-quarter play in Baltimore's 23-20 win in which he launched himself into tight end Ed Dickson after the ball glanced off Dickson's hands.

It was the second fine in as many weeks for Clark, who was punished $15,000 for hitting Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski when he was out of bounds.

Ravens linebacker Lewis was fined for a helmet-to-helmet hit that dazed Steelers receiver Hines Ward.

"You definitely respect them trying to protect player safety," Lewis told reporters Wednesday about the NFL's crackdown on late hits and leading with the helmet on tackles.

"At the same time, it won't change not one way I play. You can't stop playing defense the way defense has always been created to play. When the receiver has the ball, your job is to disengage him from the ball."

Lewis did not disclose how much he was fined, but local reports said the penalty was $20,000.

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; editing by Rex Gowar)