The suspension will cost Reed his game check of $423,529, and the 11-year veteran will miss next Sunday's contest against the San Diego Chargers.
Reed has appealed the suspension, NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said Tuesday on ESPN's "Mike and Mike in the Morning." The appeal of the suspension will be heard by Ted Cotrell, on of two independent arbitrators who are paid by the league and the players' union. A decision could come as soon as Wednesday, making Reed's eligibility against San Diego clear.
Reed was penalized for unnecessary roughness for his third-quarter hit to Sanders' head and neck. The NFL said it was Reed's third violation of rules protecting defenseless receivers, highlighting past Reed hits to former Patriots receiver Deion Branch earlier this season and to Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2010.
"We cannot tolerate repeated violations of rules, especially rules related to player safety," Anderson said. "We will continue to take the strongest possible action to deter these types of violations and protect our players."
Steelers safety Ryan Clark tweeted: "Tough on Ed getting suspended. I can't say that I agree w that. It was a penalty but I don't believe he was intentionally trying to harm E."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh disagreed with the league's ruling, saying: "I was very surprised, I didn't see that one coming."
"They were all inadvertent," Harbaugh said of the three hits cited by the NFL. "None of those were with the intent to injure or to harm in any way. I think when you look at the hits it's pretty obvious. When you look at Ed, he respects the game, he respects the players."
Others suspended for similar hits in past seasons include Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in 2011; Panthers defensive back Dante Wesley in 2009; Tampa Bay DB Elbert Mack and New York Jets safety Eric Smith in 2008; and Cowboys safety Roy Williams in 2007; and Titans DT Albert Haynesworth in 2006.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press contributed to this report.