Systems and methods are disclosed for providing redundancy in a network node implementing a ring protection protocol. Each of the two ring ports connecting the node to other nodes in a ring supporting the protocol may be maintained by a separate line card. Should one line card fail, traffic passing through the node may be redirected through the remaining ring port under the control of the surviving state machine. The two state machines may be coordinated over the backplane of the node to maintain a common state, making them transparent to other nodes. Additionally, the backplane link between the state machines may be monitored for failures that may be addressed with messages used to respond to general ring failures and by assigning one state machine to block a ring port upon recovery to prevent a loop within the ring until the ring protection link can be blocked.