Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended for two games by the NFL on Monday for two illiegal hits against the Chicago Bears. But Meriweather appealed the suspension, and his hearing was heard today by NFL representative Ted Cottrell. And subsequently, Meriweather’s suspension was lowered from two games to one.
Meriweather will now only have to miss this weeks’ game against the Denver Broncos and will return in week nine. However, it’s still a big loss for the Redskins who have struggled on defense this season, and have depth issues at safety. Meriweather’s presence would have been valuable as the Redskins defense takes on Broncos QB Peyton Manning.
Meriweather has been fined previously by the NFL for illegal hits. So It remains to seen if he will adapt his style of play to the NFL’s rules regarding leading with the helmet and hits on defenseless receivers. The NFL more than likely reiterated the rules to Meriweather, and warned him against further violations.
The Redskins should be sure to try to make Meriweather clear on the issue, because even though he drew personal fouls and a suspension with his hits on the Bears, he’s still one of their starting safeties. And the Redskins defense can ill afford to lose the depth now that the team as a whole performing better.