Ed Reed Appeals One-Game NFL Suspension for Illegal Hits

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed appealed a one-game suspension from the National Football League for repeated violations of a rule banning hits to the head and neck of defenseless opponents.

The sanction would cost Reed, who was due to make $7.2 million this year, about $450,000 in salary and force him to miss the Ravens’ Nov. 25 game at the San Diego Chargers.

“Ed has told us that he’s going to appeal the suspension right away,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at a news conference yesterday. “So we should know something very soon. If we don’t have Ed, that’s a blow.”

Reed’s blow to the head of Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders two days ago was his third such hit in three seasons, the NFL said in a news release. Reed received a penalty for unnecessary roughness on the play, which occurred during the third quarter of the Ravens’ 13-10 victory.

Reed also received a $21,000 fine and an unnecessary roughness penalty following a September hit on New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch, and a $10,000 fine for roughing the passer after an unnecessary blow to the head of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2010.

“None of those were with intent to injure or to harm in any way,” Harbaugh said. “Ed respects the game. He respects his fellow players. After the New England one, he and Branch, they knew right away, and they were hugging each other. He’s got tremendous respect for the game, and we stand behind him.”

Reed is the second player suspended this season for violating safety rules. Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays received a one-game ban for a hit on Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in September.

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