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Ravens S Reed wins appeal of 1-game suspension, instead receives $50,000 fine for late hits

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed has avoided a one-game suspension for late hits after an appeal. He instead will be fined $50,000.

Reed was suspended for one game without pay on Monday by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks for his third violation in three seasons of the rule prohibiting helmet-to-helmet hits against defenseless players. The third violation occurred in Sunday night's game at Pittsburgh; Reed's hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Reed appealed the ruling, and hearing officer Ted Cottrell on Tuesday reduced the penalty.

In a letter to Reed, Cottrell wrote: "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."