On October 30, NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger suggested on local radio that the Philadelphia Eagles should put a bounty on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

“This is the guy that that we’ve got to hurt,” Baldinger said, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk. “This is the guy that we’ve got to take out of the game. There’s got to be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott.”

“You want to cut off the head to kill the body, that’s the guy you’ve got to get to.”

After much public indignation, NFL Network slapped Baldinger with a six-month (without pay) suspension.

Just over five months have passed since then, but according to Pro Football Talk, Baldinger returned to the air Friday. NFL Network has not announced Baldinger’s return or provided an explanation for why his suspension was cut short.

We know the decision to shorten Baldinger’s suspension was not due to public remorse. The analyst said last fall that “the punishment doesn’t fit the crime,” which might have been true but wouldn’t seem to help his parole hopes.

Maybe NFL Network never intended to have Baldinger sit out for six full months and just announced that lengthy suspension to score PR points. Or maybe some executives stopped and thought, hm maybe six months is a bit harsh for some bone-headed comments. Or maybe Baldinger just asked really nicely.

Regardless, he’s now back on the air and will probably keep his bounty-related thoughts to himself from now on.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.