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Ravens Insider: Ravens news, notes and opinions

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I think Ted Cottrell , who ruled on Ed Reed’s appeal yesterday, got it right when he overturned the original one-game suspension and instead handed out a $50,000 fine to the Ravens’ safety. I watched all three hits that the NFL cited in punishing Reed and the only one that I thought was really blatant was the one on the New England Patriots’ Deion Branch earlier this season. I’m not saying that he shouldn’t have been penalized on the other two – the hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders Sunday night and the one on New Orleans Saints quarter Drew Brees in 2010 – but I just didn’t think they were egregious enough to warrant contributing to a suspension. Cottrell apparently felt the same way. However, that doesn’t mean that Reed’s out of the woods by any means. He acknowledged as much to my colleague Aaron Wilson yesterday when, after distributing turkeys to a local middle school, he said, “This is not over between myself or the league.” He’s right. Reed will be under the microscope more than ever for the rest of the season and the days of him getting the benefit of the doubt are over. Reed obviously can’t tackle the way he would like because of neck and shoulder injuries, but he’s going to have to figure out a way to wrap up more consistently and avoid any contact near the head and neck area of an opponent. One more hit like that and it’s a near certainly that he’ll be sitting at least a game.


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