Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed received another slap on the wrist instead of a suspension.
Reed was fined $55,000 by the NFL for "striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area" on Sunday, a league spokesman confirmed. It was first reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Last month, Reed was suspended for one game, but it was reduced to a $50,000 fine after an appeal. This time, the NFL chose to fine Reed rather than attempt another suspension.
These fines are not severe discipline for Reed. These two fines combined account for one-quarter of his weekly paycheck ($423,529).
This is good news for the Ravens, who won't lose Reed for the regular-season finale or a playoff game.
Reed was unsure whether the NFL would suspend him. "All I like to do is play the game," Reed said Sunday. "I thought it was a decent hit. He [Cruz] got up from it."
The Ravens have defended their Pro Bowl safety. "It's tough, full-speed, the whole thing," coach John Harbaugh said. "I hope the league really takes a look at this in the offseason and figures out a way to help the players out a little bit. It's been a real challenge so far this year."
This is Reed's fourth illegal hit over the past three seasons. He will have to be smarter (and more careful) going forward because another illegal hit could sideline him in the playoffs.