NFL Gets Tough, Suspends Safety for Targeting Head and Neck Area of Defenseless Players

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NFL Gets Tough, Suspends Safety for Targeting Head and Neck Area of Defenseless Players

Bad enough that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost their first two games of the season on last second field goals.

Now they have lost their prized free agent pickup from the off-season — safety Dashon Goldson — for their next game against the New England Patriots

Goldson was suspended without pay for one game yesterday for a flagrant and repeat violation of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.

The suspension, which was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, means Goldson also may not practice this week with the team, or participate in any football activities with the team.

Goldson was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints for making direct, helmet-to-helmet contact with a defenseless receiver. 

The violation was Goldson’s fifth for unnecessary roughness since 2011 and his second in the first two weeks of the 2013 season.  Goldson was fined $30,000 last week for striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area in the Buccaneers’ Week 1 game against the New York Jets.

“You had an unobstructed path to your opponent,” Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson informing him of the suspension.  “It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent’s head.  You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play.  This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided.”

Bucs Head Football Coach Greg Schiano said Goldson is trying to do better.

“Dashon is trying to do the right thing,” Schiano said. “He’s just got to lower his target point. Now sometimes the point moves while your going to hit so that means you have to go even lower still. He’s certainly is trying. It’s not one of those, ‘oh, I don’t care.’ He’s very aware and trying.

“By the same token, I want our guys to play hard and I don’t think anybody is trying to intentionally do that. So we just have to be more and more aware of that situation and make sure we avoid that as much as we can.”