The news comes from the NFL communications department:
Safety Ed Reed of the Baltimore Ravens has been suspended without pay for one game for repeated violations of the rule prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks. Reed may not practice this week nor play in the Ravens’ game this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. He may not be at the team practice facility or stadium for any other activities during the suspension. He will be reinstated on Monday, November 26.
UPDATE: Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Ed Reed will not have to miss next week's game after all.
The Baltimore Ravens reported the following news regarding his recent suspension via Twitter.
#Ravens safety Ed Reed's suspension has been lifted. Punishment reduced to a $50,000 fine.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 20, 2012
Having Reed in the secondary will be a huge boost to the team as they take on the San Diego Chargers and try to win their fourth consecutive game.
---End of Update
It's pretty clear that the NFL, which has been trying to enhance its protocol on player safety, is sending a message here. Reed, who has always been known as a big hitter, isn't a surprising target.
The 11-year pro was flagged Sunday night for an illegal hit on Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. According to NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala, this was Reed's third hit on a defenseless player in the last three years.
The Ravens currently sit at 8-2 and are in fantastic position to roll to the playoffs, so losing the future Hall of Famer for a week isn't the worst thing in the world.
Nonetheless, it's another crushing blow to a defense that can't seem to catch any breaks this season. Cornerback Lardarius Webb and linebacker Ray Lewis are already lost for the year, and with Reed out of the lineup, the San Diego Chargers will have a much easier time moving the ball downfield this weekend.
Stay tuned for updates as further developments on this suspension become known.