Around the NFL

Earl Thomas not expected to be suspended for hit

Earl Thomas won't miss time for the blow that knocked out Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning that Thomas isn't expected to be suspended for the hit, per a source informed of the situation.

The play will be reviewed for a possible fine, Pelissero added. Thomas was flagged for the play but not ejected.

Rudolph appeared to be knocked out immediately from the impact of Thomas' hit to the facemask in the second half of the Baltimore Ravens26-23 overtime win. The QB was helped off the field by teammates. He was ruled out with a concussion and taken to a local hospital for further evaluation. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Rudolph was discharged from the hospital Sunday night.

Thomas defended the hit after the game, saying he didn't think he'd aimed for Rudolph's head.

"I hit the strike zone like we talk about. I didn't go high," Thomas said, per ESPN.com. "I didn't intentionally try to hurt him. I'm worried about him. I heard he's at the hospital. My prayers go out to him and his family. I've never tried to hurt anybody."

Thomas might avoid suspension, but a hefty fine could still come his way this week, even if he didn't intend to hurt Rudolph.

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