New York: The NFL is looking into Tom Brady’s leg-up slide that hit Ravens safety Ed Reed in the AFC championship game. League spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday “any play of that nature is routinely reviewed.”
Brady could be subject to a fine if the league believes he violated any player safety rules.
During the final minute of the first half, Brady slid at the end of an impromptu run. The quarterback’s upraised leg hit the onrushing Reed, who temporarily limped away. Reed was not injured.
Reed says Brady attempted to apologise this week for the slide. “He actually reached out to me, texted me,” Reed told WJZ-FM in Baltimore. “I tried to text him back, but the message exploded after 12 seconds, so I had to call him. ... He’s just apologised and what not. But I told him, ‘You know, it’s good, man.’”
Reed did not believe Brady was trying to hurt him.
“I know he’s a great player,” Reed said. “I respect Brady and his game for all it stands for, and I know he’s not a dirty player. And emotions get going in the game.”
Ravens safety Bernard Pollard said on Monday that Brady should be disciplined by the NFL, which levies fines on defensive players for helmet-to-helmet hits.
“If you want to keep this going in the right direction, everyone should be penalised for their actions,” Pollard said, adding Brady “knew what he was doing.
“It has to go both ways. Hopefully the NFL will do something about it. If they don’t, that’s fine. If they do, then that’s fine.”
Baltimore beat New England 28-13 for the AFC championship Sunday.
Sean Payton, meanwhile, is back as coach of the New Orleans Saints. Payton’s season-long suspension for his role in the Saints’ bounty program was lifted by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, nearly two weeks earlier than expected.
The decision allows Payton to attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday, where some of the top college players available for the NFL draft will be competing.
Payton, along with assistant head coach Joe Vitt, general manager Mickey Loomis, and four players including Jonathan Vilma, was suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.