OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed avoided a one-game suspension for late hits after an appeal. He instead will be fined $50,000.
Reed was suspended for one game without pay on Monday by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks for his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless players. The third violation occurred in Sunday night's game at Pittsburgh: Reed's hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Reed appealed the ruling in phone session Tuesday morning with NFL hearing officer Ted Cottrell. The NFL Players Association represented Reed, who also participated.
Hours later, Cottrell reduced the penalty.
In a letter to Reed, Cottrell wrote: ``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.''
Reed will be in uniform for Sunday's game in San Diego.
``The league has an appeal process to review situations like this, and Ed had his opportunity to answer questions about his play,'' Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement. ``I think John (Harbaugh) and his coaches do an excellent job of teaching the right, safe and legal way to play football, and we believe Ed clearly tries to play within the rules on every down.''
Football is back in session for the Ravens.
Their rookies are set to report to the Ravens' training facility in Owings Mills, Md Wednesday. Veterans report next Wednesday, the 18th.
The team is reporting to training camp a bit earlier than most NFL teams. Due to Ray Lewis being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Aug. 4 in Canton, Oh, the Ravens will face the Chicago Bears in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 2. Teams participating are eligible to begin training camp earlier.
This rookie class is already generating national attention. While the Ravens stand by Joe Flacco as their QB1, first-round pick Lamar Jackson could cause a shakeup at some point during the season. And when it comes to much-needed offensive help, tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews could begin to provide relief.
Third-round pick Orlando Brown Jr. begins his journey with the Ravens in a more sentimental fashion. His father, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, also played tackle for the Ravens from 1996-98 and then again from 2003-05. Brown passed away in 2011.
Stay with NBC Sports Washington throughout the next several weeks as we keep a close eye on the Ravens' preseason.
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There's only six months until the NFL playoffs and we've got no time to waste.
OK, maybe we're getting a little ahead of ourselves but online betting site, Oddshark, released their early 2018 NFL playoff odds and the Ravens are in a similar situation as previous years.
The Ravens are sitting at +135 — tied for 13th with the San Francisco 49ers — for the best odds to play January football. This would place them in the seventh seed among AFC teams and just outside contention.
The Patriots (-1500), Steelers (-550), Chargers (-145), Jaguars (-140), Texans (-135), and Chiefs (+120) are seeded above them respectively.
During the 2017 season, the Ravens were constantly in the hunt for the fifth or sixth seed in the AFC playoff picture. Several weeks ahead of training camp, Vegas is predicting that to be the case in 2018.
Playoff odds in July mean nothing, but considering their offseason changes, the Ravens' 2018 season should bring positive change.
They added weapons for Joe Flacco in free agents Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown, and drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews.
Then there was the late first-round draft pick of QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco remains the starter for now, but it will be interesting to see if that changes midway through the season or if they get them both on the field at the same time.
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