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Report: NFL overturns Dashon Goldson's 1-game suspension

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Dashon Goldson can play this week, but he's still out $100,000. (USATSI)

Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson was suspended Monday for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Saints running back Darren Sproles. On Wednesday, the league overturned that suspension, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This means Goldson is eligible to play against the Patriots this Sunday.

But the Bucs' first-year safety didn't escape punishment; CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that the NFL has fined him $100,000. It could have been worse, however; if Goldson had been suspended, he would have forfeited his $264,705 game check.

It's the second time in as many weeks a player has been fined that amount; in the season opener, Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was fined $100,000 for a low block against Vikings center John Sullivan.

In Week 1, Goldson was penalized for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland and he was subsequently fined $30,000. After the hit on Sproles last Sunday, the league had seen enough.

According to a statement, the NFL justified Goldson's one-game suspension for "a flagrant and repeat violation of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players."

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks imposed the initial suspension, and outlined why in a letter to Goldson.

"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent. 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," Hanks wrote. "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."

Apparently, the appeals committee felt differently.

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