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Ravens S Ed Reed suspended by NFL for 1 game

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Ravens S Ed Reed suspended by NFL for 1 game

NEW YORK (AP) Baltimore Ravens star safety Ed Reed was suspended for one game by the NFL on Monday for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.

The 11-year veteran will miss Sunday's game against San Diego, which will cost him one game check of more than $400,000.

Reed is suspended for three violations of the player safety rules in the past three seasons. The latest came in Sunday night's 13-10 victory over Pittsburgh when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter for a hit to the head of receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Reed also was penalized Sept. 23 against the Patriots for unnecessary roughness and fined $21,000 for striking Deion Branch when the receiver was defenseless.

Before that, Reed hit Saints quarterback Drew Brees on Dec. 19, 2010, and was fined $10,000.

``We cannot tolerate repeated violations of rules, especially rules related to player safety,'' NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson said Monday. ``We will continue to take the strongest possible action to deter these types of violations and protect our players.''

Steelers safety Ryan Clark tweeted: ``Tough on Ed getting suspended. I can't say that I agree w that. It was a penalty but I don't believe he was intentionally trying to harm E.''

Under the collective bargaining agreement with the players' union, the suspension can be appealed within three days. An expedited hearing and decision would take place this week.

Appeals are heard by either Art Shell or Ted Cottrell, the officers jointly appointed by the NFL and NFL Players Association.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh disagreed with the league's ruling, saying: ``I was very surprised, I didn't see that one coming.''

``They were all inadvertent,'' Harbaugh said of the three hits cited by the NFL. ``None of those were with the intent to injure or to harm in any way. I think when you look at the hits it's pretty obvious. When you look at Ed, he respects the game, he respects the players.''

Reed is the second player suspended this season for violating rules designed to protect players. Denver linebacker Joe Mays was barred for one game for an illegal hit against Houston quarterback Matt Schaub on Sept. 23.

Others suspended for similar hits in past seasons include Steelers linebacker James Harrison and Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in 2011; Panthers defensive back Dante Wesley in 2009; Tampa Bay DB Elbert Mack and New York Jets safety Eric Smith in 2008; and Cowboys safety Roy Williams in 2007; and Titans DT Albert Haynesworth in 2006.

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Ravens hope to force Brady into kind of mistakes he rarely makes

Ravens hope to force Brady into kind of mistakes he rarely makes

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has thrown just one interception this season.

That’s one of the many challenges facing the Ravens (7-5) as they prepare for Monday night’s game at New England (10-2). The Ravens’ defense is tied for fifth in the NFL with 22 takeaways – 14 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries. But Brady is a quarterback that rarely turns it over, with 19 touchdown passes and just one interception in 302 passing attempts.

Can the Ravens force Brady into uncharacteristic mistakes? It won’t be easy. Watching Brady on film, coach John Harbaugh sees a quarterback who looks as good as he ever has.

“If he’s lost anything physically, he definitely makes up for it with his mind and his experience,” Harbaugh said. “He’s moving very well. He’s moving around the pocket very well and creating throws for himself in the pocket. I don’t really see any diminished skill set whatsoever.”

Even if the Ravens can’t force Brady into interceptions, their pass rush could make his job a lot more difficult. The more pressure the Ravens can get on Brady, the less time he will have to pick them apart.

When the Seahawks won at New England last month, they sacked Brady twice, intercepted him, and held him without a touchdown pass. That’s the blueprint the Ravens hope to follow. However, the two starting quarterbacks with the best TD-interception ration are Brady (19-1) and Dak Prescott (19-2) of the Cowboys. Prescott threw three TD passes and no interceptions against the Ravens last month and beat them. The Ravens hope for better success against Brady.

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Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

When Eric Weddle was released by the San Diego Chargers after last season he had plenty of offers to sign with other NFL teams.

One of those teams was the New England Patriots, the team Weddle will play against on Monday Night Football this week. 

When the two-time All-Pro safety hit the open market, he said he was looking to play for a winning organization. He ended up choosing the Ravens over the Patriots because there was a more clear-cut opportunity for playing time. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin McCourty is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Although the Ravens don't have quite as many wins as the Patriots this season, Weddle clearly made a good choice. The Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Steelers and Weddle is currently the highest graded safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. 

The Ravens defense is playing dominant football as a whole as well. Through week 13 Baltimore ranks first in the NFL in total defense surrenduring just 296.1 yards per game. 

RELATED: Weddle consumes a gallon of ice cream after Ravens wins