Sunday’s meaningless game for the Ravens at Cincinnati could have significant meaning for one of the team’s players, especially if it means he is prevented from playing.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Ravens currently fear that the NFL will try once again to suspend Reed for an illegal hit on a defenseless player.
Last month, the NFL suspended Ravens safety Ed Reed for his third illegal hit on a defenseless player in four seasons. On appeal, the punishment was reduced to a $50,000 fine.
This time around, Reed hit Giants receiver Victor Cruz on the sidelines in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game at Baltimore, drawing a flag.
“I don’t know what’s going to come of it,” Reed said after the game, via the Baltimore Sun. ”I had the referee whispering in my ear on the second play. All I like to do is play the game. I don’t really know what to do with it. I don’t really know what to do with that. I thought it was a decent hit. He got up from it.”
If the league attempts to suspend Reed, the effort would likely come early enough in the week to allow Reed to embark on an expedited appeal process. If the appeal lingers, Reed could miss a playoff game.
From a financial standpoint, that’s actually better for Reed. A suspension for the final regular-season game would cost Reed 1/17th of his regular-season salary, which equates to more than $423,000. If Reed misses a wild-card playoff game, he’d lose only $22,000.