Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 10/12/11

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10: Matt Birk #77 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on as blood drips from the bridge of his nose against the New England Patriots during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-13. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Baltimore Ravens center Matt Birk has been fined $5,000 by the NFL for removing a microphone from his shoulder pads during a game against the New York Jets. The NFL requires centers or offensive guards to wear microphones. Birk says he tore his microphone off after it came loose and was jabbing his neck. He said because he couldn't reach it, ''I just took it off.'' He says he will appeal the fine, in part because he didn't know he couldn't remove the mike. He called it a ''misunderstanding.'' Asked if wearing a microphone could provide a competitive advantage for other teams, Birk said, ''It's tough to say.'' But he said a lot of the calls sound the same. Birk says this is the first time he's been fined for removing the microphone.
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