Battle 'sick' about $21,000 fine for leading with helmet

Titan is first running back to be punished under new rule. Terry McCormick

Print This September 20, 2013, 02:39 PM EST

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When Jackie Battle saw the fine from the NFL awaiting him Thursday, he said it made him feel ill.

Battle is the first NFL running back fined under the league's new "crown of the helmet" rule, which now prohibits running backs from lowering their head and leading with the helmet against a defender once they are outside the tackle box. Battle's hit came against Houston's Danieal Manning, though he was not flagged on the play.

“I didn't expect it. I thought it was a perfectly legal play. I've been running like that my whole career, so I didn't think they'd get me for it,” Battle said. “It came yesterday. I couldn't even eat lunch. It made me sick.”

Battle said he won't change his style as a physical runner, because of the fine.

“I'm not changing my style one bit. I'm a physical runner. I've got to protect myself. If somebody's gonna go low on me, I've got to get low too. The low man wins. I'm not gonna change the way I run one bit,” he said.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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