Source: Brandon Meriweather fined

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $20,000 for his helmet-to-helmet shot on Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith during Chicago's 34-29 win on Sunday, according to a league source.

The NFL won't officially release information on fines until Friday. It's the second fine for the safety in as many seasons.

The league fined Meriweather $50,000 last year for a pair of helmet-to-helmet hits on Ravens safety Todd Heap. After an appeal by Meriweather, Ted Contrell -- the league's appeals officer -- reduced the fine from $50,000 to $40,000.

Meriweather was a part of a rash of helmet-to-helmet hits last October that saw the safety fined along with Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson ($50,000), and Steelers linebacker James Harrison ($75,000).

The league later reduced all three players' fines.

A fifth-year veteran, Meriweather has played in four games for the Bears thus far with three starts, and has contributed 21 tackles and a pair of pass breakups.

Meriweather tied for the team league in tackles (10) against the Panthers.

The Chicago Tribune first reported the news.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.