NFL reduces Brandon Meriweather suspension from 2 games to 1

Brandon Meriweather had his suspension cut in half. (USATSI)
Brandon Meriweather had his suspension cut in half. (USATSI)

Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended for two games after two illegal hits on Sunday, but the NFL announced Wednesday that his suspension has been reduced to one game without pay.

The NFL earlier this week banned him for two games after he illegally hit Bears receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery last week. It continued a troubling pattern where Meriweather appears to show no desire to avoid those illegal helmet-to-helmet hits.

But Meriweather appealed the suspension, and former coach Ted Cotrell reduced it after an expedited hearing.

“I feel every hit I took was a legal hit,” Meriweather said this week. “I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody. I didn’t lead with, lunge with my head. I used my shoulders like they told me to do.”

“Guys like that really don't understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said after the game. “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 $42,000 already this season for illegally hitting Packers running back Eddie Lacy.

Meriweather is drawing a base salary of $1,058,824 this season, so by my calculations, he'll lose about $66,000 for not playing this week.

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