Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed won't miss any game time for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday night.
Reed was suspended one game on Monday as a repeat violator of the rule, but had the punishment reduced to a $50,000 fine upon appeal. The appeal was heard over the phone on Tuesday by Ted Cottrell, who is joined appointed and compensated by the NFL and the NFL Players Association to hear and decide on appeals for on-field player discipline.
In a letter to Reed, Cottrell said, "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 had been slated to sit out Sunday's game at the San Diego Chargers.
"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. "Ted Cottrell, a long-time NFL defensive coach, reviewed Ed's play. Ted is the arbitrator approved by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and he made the decision.
"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."
This is Reed's third violation in the past three seasons. The league rule on fines states that: "Players who were fined for violations in 2010 or 2011, and whose fines were either partially or fully upheld, will be considered second and/or repeat offenders under this policy."
"We cannot tolerate repeated violations of rules, especially rules related to player safety," executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said in announcing the original one-game suspension Monday. "We will continue to take the strongest possible action to deter these types of violations and protect our players."
Reed's other infractions include: a $21,000 fine and an unnecessary roughness penalty for striking a defenseless player, New England Patriots wide Receiver Deion Branch, on Sept. 23; and a $10,000 fine and a roughing-the-passer penalty for striking the head and neck area of New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Dec. 19, 2010.
Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays was suspended for one game earlier this year for violating rules designed to protect the safety of players. He was disciplined for an illegal hit against Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, a defenseless player, in their Sept. 23 game.
---It took one workout for Plaxico Burress to return to Pittsburgh.
The Steelers signed the veteran wide receiver one day after watching him
work out for the team.
Burress spent last season with the New York Jets, following nearly two years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. He caught 45 passes, including eight touchdowns, but couldn't find a job.
Burress, 35, is needed to boost an injury-depleted receiving corps. The Steelers are wideout Antonio Brown (sprained ankle), and Jerricho Cotchery also was hurt late in Sunday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Burress was taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft, and spent his first five seasons with Pittsburgh.
In other Steelers news, head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that quarterback Charlie Batch will start against the Cleveland Browns.
Byron Leftwich, who was starting for an injured Ben Roethlisberger, broke two ribs Sunday against the Ravens.
The team also signed former New England Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer, who is expected to back up Batch.
---The Jacksonville Jaguars signed third-year wide receiver Jordan Shipley and waived fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou, the club announced Tuesday.
Shipley played in 18 games since entering the NFL as a third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. He has 56 career receptions for 614 yards and three touchdowns.
---Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was placed on season-ending injured reserve with the torn right ACL he suffered against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
Meriweather made his season debut against the Eagles after missing the team's first nine games with a knee injury. He made an immediate impact, recording seven tackles (three solo), two passes defensed and an interception before being injured.
Cornerback Jerome Murphy was signed by the Redskins. Murphy was a third-round pick by the St. Louis Rams in 2010.
He registered 20 tackles in 14 games as a rookie, and was acquired by the New Orleans Saints on waivers on Sept. 2. He was waived after seeing action in the team's first two games and landed with the Detroit Lions, who released him on Sept. 29 following one game with the team.
---The Philadelphia Eagles' free fall to a 3-7 record will likely cost head coach Andy Reid his job, but it won't cost the team its scheduled primetime game against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 13.
NBC has decided to keep the game at Cowboys Stadium on "Sunday Night Football," choosing not to utilize the flex schedule option available between Weeks 11-17.