Ravens strong safety Bernard Pollard has been fined $15,250 for unnecessary roughness by the NFL, according to league spokesman Corry Rush.
Pollard was fined for striking an opponent in the head and neck area.
Specifically, he drew a 15-yard personal foul in the the third quarter of the AFC championship when he hit New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
"This is how I feed my family," Pollard said prior to the fine announcement. "I'm not going to change how I play football. This is what I've been doing for a very long time. If I don't do my job the way I'm supposed to, I don't have an income."
Pollard delivered another huge hit in the fourth quarter when he unloaded on running back Stevan Ridley, forcing a fumble that led to the Ravens' final touchdown and knocked Ridley out of the game. He wasn't fined or penalized for that high-speed collision.
Hours before the NFL announced his punishment, Pollard said he hadn't been fined.
"I'm good," he said. "I haven't been fined for anything. I'm cool."
Pollard lobbied for Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady to be fined for a kick slide where he hit free safety Ed Reed in the leg with his right foot. Brady has been fined $10,000 by the league and apologized to Reed.
"Nobody is exempt," Pollard said. "Everybody is going to get emotional. It's a competitive game. At the same time, they did what they thought was best."