Tampa Bay Bandits defensive back Antonio Reed will miss Saturday's game against the Houston Gamblers after he was suspended by the USFL for one game after sitting on an opponent's head during last Sunday's 34-3 loss to the New Orleans Breakers. Reed, who played college football at Nebraska from 2015-18, is the first player to be suspended by the USFL.
USFL head of officiating Mike Pereira announced the suspension on Wednesday. Pereira said that, while USFL officials have been instructed to "try to manage the game without throwing penalty flags," the league wants "egregiousness when it comes to taunting" to be penalized.
"We want this game to be enjoyable and we told our players (to) have fun with it," Pereira said. "But in the case of Antonio Reed of the Tampa Bay Bandits, who actually sat on the head of an opponent who was on the ground, that's totally disrespectful to his opponent and the game. And we want you to know that Antonio has been suspended for this upcoming game."
Along with missing Saturday's game, Reed may be facing a loss of income. USFL players who are on the active roster receive $4,500 per week and $850 per win. Practice squad players make $1,500 per week.
The Bandits are one of four 1-1 teams after two weeks. Tampa Bay posted a 17-3 win over the Pittsburgh Maulers in Week 1 before getting blown out by the Breakers this past weekend. New Orleans will face the USFL's only other undefeated team -- the Birmingham Stallions -- on Saturday night.