Ravens free safety Ed Reed has been fined $55,000 for his hit on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, two sources with knowledge of the situaton confirmed.
Part of the former NFL Defensive Player of the Year's shoulder glanced off of Cruz's facemask during the Ravens' 33-14 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions, triggering a penalty for an illegal hit announced by the referee as unnecessary roughness for illegal contact to the helmet and neck area of a defenseless receiver.
As a repeat offender -- who had a one-game suspension overturned and replaced with a $50,000 fine earlier this season -- Reed is in the NFL crosshairs.
Reed was initially suspended by the league for one game without pay earlier this season, punishment stemming from his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. One day later, the suspension was overturned by NFL hearing officer Ted Cottrell after Reed filed an appeal through the NFL Players Association with Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass among those defending him.
"It's an interesting situation," Reed said Thursday prior to learning of the fine. "I just play the game. I let them make those decisions."
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday afternoon that Reed and other players are in a difficult position under the NFL rulebook due to the speed of the game, also noting that wide receiver Torrey Smith was penalized for an illegal block where he appeared to make contact with his shoulder to the chest of a Giants defender.
"It's tough, full-speed, the whole thing," Harbaugh said. "I hope the league really takes a look at this in the offseason and figures out a way to help the players out a little bit.
"It's been a real challenge so far this year. Ed was trying to do everything he could. I could say the same thing about Torrey on the block back, it was chest high. Our guys are really trying to do the right thing and it's difficult at full speed to do that."