Redskins S Meriweather's suspension down to 1 game
NEW YORK (AP) - Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has had his two-game suspension cut in half by an appeals officer.
Meriweather was suspended Monday by the NFL for repeated violations of player safety rules. But hearing officer Ted Cottrell reduced the fine to one game Wednesday.
Cottrell is jointly appointed to the position by the league and the players union.
Meriweather's suspension by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks came for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, including two in Sunday's Washington-Chicago game.
He was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Alshon Jeffery in the fourth quarter and for a helmet-first hit to the head and neck area of receiver Brandon Marshall.
He also was fined $42,000 for a helmet-first hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy in Week 2, forcing Lacy out of the game with a concussion. Later in that same game, another helmet-first hit left Meriweather with a concussion, knocking him out of the game.
Meriweather will lose about $70,000 in salary as he sits out Sunday's game at Denver. He is not allowed to participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension.
Meriweather said after Sunday's game that he thought both hits against the Bears were legal. He said he's tried to change his game to suit the NFL's tackling rules.
''I wasn't trying to be dirty. I wasn't trying to hurt nobody,'' he said. ''I didn't lead with my, didn't launch with my head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do.''
The suspension could leave the Redskins without their two starting safeties when they face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Strong safety Reed Doughty suffered a concussion Sunday when the Bears attempted an onside kick in the fourth quarter.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org