NFL Lowers the Boom on Washington Redskins Safety with Two-Game Suspension for Targeting

Safety Brandon Meriweather of the Washington Redskins has been suspended without pay for two games for repeat violations this season of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, including two in Sunday’s Washington-Chicago Bears game.

The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks.  Meriweather may not practice during the suspension nor play in the Redskins’ games this Sunday against the Denver Broncos and on November 3 against the San Diego Chargers.  He may not participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension. Meriweather will be reinstated on Monday, November 4.

Meriweather was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against Chicago for a forcible helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver and again in the fourth quarter for a forcible hit to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver.

In Week 2 against the Green Bay Packers, Meriweather delivered an illegal hit with the top/crown of the helmet to a runner who was outside the tackle box.  He was fined $42,000 for that violation.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days and an expedited hearing and decision requested in advance of Sunday’s game. Appeals are heard and decided by either Matt Birk or Ted Cottrell, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.

The suspension was warranted, according to Chicago Bears Wide Receiver Brandon Marshall.

He told the Chicago Tribune:

“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football. I respect the league trying to better our game and guys like that, maybe he needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely. I understand. I get it. I was one of those guys. I played defense growing up. I was a headhunter. Even sometimes on the offensive side, I played that way. But with rules in place, you’ve gotta respect it.”

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