On Monday, it was revealed that Reed, who was flagged for a hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders on Sunday night, would be suspended without pay for Baltimore's Week 12 game against the San Diego Chargers.
The official reasoning was repeated violations of the rule protecting defenseless players. According to NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Sunday was the third time in three years that Reed had been flagged for that particular offense.
It appeared as though the NFL was making an example out of Reed, but after the future Hall of Famer appealed the suspension, the league backed down from its harsh initial stance.
From ESPN's Adam Schefter:
Ted Cottrell reduced Ed Reed's one-game suspension to only a $50,000 fine. Wow...— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2012
If you listen quietly, you can hear Philip Rivers screaming in anger.
The Ravens, who are already without Lardarius Webb and Ray Lewis, haven't boasted the same dominant defense of years past. Without Reed, it looked liked Rivers was going to have a field day on Sunday, but the enigmatic quarterback will no longer have that benefit.
Most of the population was seemingly under the impression that a suspension for the talented safety was over the top. A huge reduction to a relatively small fine will certainly quell that anger, but it's unclear if it will still get across the original message that the NFL was trying to convey in the first place.
We'll be sure to keep you updated on this intriguing development.