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Timmons fined $21K for hit on Sanchez

| Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012, 4:01 p.m.
The Steelers' Lawrence Timmons is flagged for hitting Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in the second quarter at Heinz Field on Sunday. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons was docked $21,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, the first known fine against the Steelers this season.

The NFL doesn't make fines official until Friday, but the league alerts players a day or two in advance.

On a third-and-3 from his own 27, Sanchez rolled to his right and threw a pass intended for Jeremy Kerley. As Sanchez stopped, Timmons slammed into the quarterback with his helmet, drawing a 15-yard personal-foul penalty.

The $21,000 is a standard fine for a hit to the head and is an increase of 5 percent over last season.

Prior to being hit by Timmons, Sanchez was 4 of 5 for 80 yards; after the hit, he was 6 of 22 for 58 yards.

• Safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and linebacker James Harrison (knee) sat out practice again Thursday — they haven't practiced for two weeks — and it seems unlikely either will play in Oakland. “I feel good, but as far as playing this week, you'll have to ask coach (Mike) Tomlin,” Polamalu said. Also out were tight end Heath Miller (rib cartilage), tackle Mike Adams (back) and quarterback Byron Leftwich (illness). Wide receivers Mike Wallace (groin) and Emmanuel Sanders (knee) were full go after not practicing Wednesday.

• Running back Rashard Mendenhall is finishing up his first full week of practice following offseason knee surgery, but it's possible his 2012 debut won't come until after the Week 4 bye. Once Mendenhall resumes playing, offensive coordinator Todd Haley suggests it will be with a reduced workload. “When the green light is given, you still have to be smart with it,” Haley said.

• The Chargers and Dolphins ran for a combined 295 yards against the Raiders, with Reggie Bush of Miami running for 172 yards last week. Might this be what the Steelers' running game needs to get going after averaging only 2.6 yards per carry? “They've done a pretty good job against the run in the preseason and in the first game,” Haley said of the Raiders. “They are pretty stout. Reggie Bush is a special player.”

• Is it too early to start an MVP campaign for Ben Roethlisberger? Wallace doesn't think it is. “MVP, baby. He is an MVP-type of quarterback,” Wallace said. “I think he is a MVP-caliber guy. He can make plays just as good as anybody in the league. So I love him.”

—Alan Robinson

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