PITTSBURGH (AP) -Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel is appealing the $12,500 fine he received for a low hit on Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell during an Aug. 18 preseason game.
Campbell bruised a knee and was taken out of the game, but was not seriously hurt. He expects to play Thursday night against Jacksonville in the Redskins' final exhibition game.
The NFL has been more stringent about lower leg hits to unprotected quarterbacks since the Steelers' Kimo von Oelhoffen took the Bengals' Carson Palmer out of a playoff game in January 2006 with such a hit. Von Oelhoffen was not penalized.
``I didn't think I would get one (a fine) but I did,'' Keisel said Tuesday. ``I guess they've got to throw the flag when you're messing around with the quarterback's feet. I'll appeal it and we'll see what happens.''
Asked what his defense would be, Keisel said, ``I was playing ball.''
``All I did was make an inside move,'' Keisel said. ``I tripped and I saw that he still had the ball and I went to make a play. If he would have held onto the ball, it would have been a sack. But he threw the ball and it was a penalty.''
Because NFL players don't collect on their regular-season salaries until the season starts, Keisel said the fine means ``I'm paying them now to play.''
In other news, Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken nose, but it isn't expected to prevent him from playing in the Sept. 9 opener at Cleveland.
Coach Mike Tomlin said that he hasn't ruled Ward out of Thursday night's exhibition game at Carolina, when the starters are expected to play one quarter.
``Hines is Hines. I wouldn't count Hines out,'' Tomlin said of the Steelers' career leader in receptions. ``He's a player-coach in my mind. He's not a guy you need to worry about being up at game time.''
Ward apparently was injured during Pittsburgh's 27-13 victory over the Eagles on Sunday night. He did not disclose the injury after the game, when Ward talked to reporters at length with no apparent pain.
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