The Baltimore Ravens head to San Diego for a matchup with the Chargers on Sunday and as of yesterday it looked as though the Ravens would have to try and improve on their 8-2 record without future Hall of Famer Ed Reed. The unnecessary roughness penalty he received on Sunday for the above hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was Reed’s third violation since 2010 for hits to the head area of defenseless players and the veteran safety was suspended for one game by the NFL.
The first infraction came on a roughing the passer call against New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in December 2010, which resulted in a $10,000 fine for Reed. The second occurred earlier this season on a hit to New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch. Reed was fined $21,000 for that incident.
Reed’s appeal of the suspension was heard by Ted Cottrell, who overturned the original ruling.
“I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline. However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay. Player safety is the league’s primary concern in the formation of playing rules and all players are expected to adhere to those rules or face disciplinary action. I hope in the future you will focus on ensuring that your play conforms to the rules.”
Next up will surely be discussions about whether relatively insignificant fine amounts serve as a deterrent for players when it comes to reducing the number of hits to the head area or will it take players missing games (and game checks) for the point to sink in. It’s an area that’s certainly a hot button topic right now in the NFL and no matter which side of the fence you’re on you likely have a strong opinion on Cottrell’s decision.