The NFL is cracking down on hits made to the to the head and neck area of defenseless players, something Titans safety Michael Griffin found out on Monday. The league suspended Griffin for one game without pay for a hit he made on Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera during Tennessee's 23-19 win over Oakland on Sunday.
This is the second time this season and fourth time since 2011 that Griffin has violated the league's safety policy. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has reported that Griffin plans to appeal the suspension and that a hearing is likely to take place on Tuesday.
Griffin was flagged for unnecessary roughness after hitting Rivera in the head during the second quarter of Sunday's game. Rivera, who lost his helmet on the hit, was evaulated for a concussion and never returned to the game.
"All I can say is I apologize to the Titans fans, my teammates and the organization," Griffin said in a text message to the Tennessean. "I also hope Rivera is doing well and I apologize to (Rivera) and his family. I was trying to do my job but in the end I hurt the team."
Teammate Bernard Pollard didn't seem to thrilled when he heard about Griffin's suspension.
We wear pads for a reason! Take the Defense off the field! You fine us for playing ball! 1 man and his minions. Show me where the $ going!— Bernard Pollard Jr (@Crushboy31) November 25, 2013
If Griffin loses his appeal, that means he'll miss the Titans game in Indianapolis on Dec. 1. Tennessee is two games behind the Colts in the AFC South standings and could trim that lead to one-game with a win on Sunday. If Griffin sits out, it would also mark the first time he's missed a game since being drafting 19th overall by the Titans in the 2007 NFL Draft.