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Redskins S Brandon Meriweather suspended 2 games for illegal hits

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Brandon Meriweather will have a two-week, unpaid vacation for repeated headhunting. (USATSI)

Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended two games without pay for repeated violations the the NFL's safety rules prohibiting hits to the head, the league announced Monday.

The decision by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks comes a day after Meriweather was flagged twice for illegal hits to the head of Bears' receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.

Marshall, one of the league's most physically imposing wideouts, said Meriweather needed an extended break from the game.

“Guys like that really don't understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said, via the Chicago Tribune. “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.

“Guys like that just don't understand. Those are the guys that are in trouble. They really don't have anything to do after football because they think it is all about football. Guys like that, it's tough.”

Meriweather was fined earlier this season for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Packers running back Eddie Lacy. For his troubles, the safety not only took the worst of the impact -- he was on the turf for several minutes -- but he was also out $42,000.

Conditions of the suspension, via the league: Meriweather can't practice or play in the Redskins' games this Sunday against the Broncos, or on Nov. 3 against the Chargers. Meriweather also can't take part in any football activities with the team during the suspension. If all goes well, he will be reinstated Monday, Nov. 4.

This isn't Meriweather's first rodeo, either; he was fined $20,000 for a helmet-to-helmet hit in 2011, his only year with the Bears, and another $25,000 for unnecessary roughness. In 2010 with the Patriots, he was fined $50,000 (later reduced to $40,000) for a vicious hit on then-Ravens tight end Todd Heap.

According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Meriweather has three days to appeal the suspension. If the suspension is upheld (and it almost always is), Reed Doughty and E.J. Biggers will replace Meriweather in the lineup.

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