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Ed Reed suspended one game for repeated violations of NFL’s ‘defenseless player’ policy

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The National Football League announced on Monday that Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has been suspended for one game without pay for repeated violations of player safety rules that prohibit hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.

In the third quarter of the Ravens' 13-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, Reed was flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty following a hit on wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The penalty was considered to be Reed's third violation in the past three seasons, resulting in Monday's suspension announcement.

The first of Reed's three violations occurred on Dec. 19, 2010, when Reed was penalized for roughing the passer and fined $10,000 for a hit to the head and neck area of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Reed's second violation came on Sept. 23, 2012 after Reed was flagged for unnecessary roughness and fined $21,000 for striking a defenseless play, New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch.

"We cannot tolerate repeated violations of rules, especially rules related to player safety," said NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson. "We will continue to take the strongest possible action to deter these types of violations and protect our players."

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Reed is earning a base salary of $7.2 million this season and a one-game suspension without pay would mean he is scheduled to forfeit $423,529 in pretax income. Reed would also not be allowed to practice this week or be at the team's facility or stadium until he is reinstated on Nov. 26.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, Reed may appeal his suspension within three business days, and an expedited hearing and decision would come down prior to Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers. Reed's appeal would be heard by either Art Shell or Ted Cottrell, who are jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

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