Reed has suspension lifted, reduced to fine by NFL (with Cottrell statement)

The Ravens won’t have to be without safety Ed Reed after all.

The NFL announced that Reed’s one-game suspension for repeated hits to the head and neck of opposing players - scheduled to be served this week at San Diego - has been lifted on appeal and reduced to a $50,000 fine.

So Reed will be available to play Sunday and going forward. Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome issued a statement about the NFL’s decision.

“The league has an appeal process to review situations like this, and Ed had his opportunity to answer questions about his play,” Newsome said. “Ted Cottrell, a long-time NFL defensive coach, reviewed Ed’s play. Ted is the arbitrator approved by both the NFL and the NFL Players Association, and he made the decision.

“I think John (Harbaugh) and his coaches do an excellent job of teaching the right, safe and legal way to play football, and we believe Ed clearly tries to play within the rules on every down.”

Update: Cottrell, the league’s hearing officer in the appeal also sent out a statement about his decision.

“I have determined that your actions were egregious and warrant significant discipline,” Cottrell wrote. “However, I do not believe that your actions were so egregious as to subject you to a one-game suspension without pay. Player safety is the league’s primary concern in the formation of playing rules and all players are expected to adhere to those rules or face disciplinary action. I hope in the future you will focus on ensuring that your play conforms to the rules.”