Meriweather appeals two-game suspension [UPDATED]

October 22, 2013

Update, 4:26 p.m.

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather’s appeal of his two-game suspension by the NFL is scheduled to be heard Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the case.

Meriweather appealed the suspension imposed on him Monday by the league, those people said Tuesday, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the process publicly.

It remained unclear whether the hearing would take place in person or by conference call and which of the two appeals officers jointly appointed by the league and the players’ union to resolve such issues, former NFL coach Ted Cottrell or former player Matt Birk, would hear Meriweather’s appeal.

Original post, 11:40 a.m.

Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Meriweather
Brandon Meriweather was suspended for two games for hits like this one on Alshon Jeffrey. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has appealed his two-game suspension by the NFL, according to a person with knowledge of the process.

The league imposed the suspension Monday for repeated violations of the sport’s player safety rules.

Meriweather was penalized twice for illegal hits during the Redskins’ win Sunday over the Chicago Bears.

Under the sport’s collective bargaining agreement, Meriweather is entitled to an expedited hearing with a request for a decision before Sunday’s game at Denver.

Update, 11:58 a.m.

It was not immediately clear when Meriweather’s appeal hearing will take place but the person familiar with the process said it is likely to happen later Tuesday or Wednesday. Such hearings sometimes take place via conference call, but it was not known if Meriweather’s appeal will be heard by phone.

Meriweather’s appeal will be decided by either former NFL coach Ted Cottrell or former player Matt Birk. They are the appeals officers jointly appointed by the NFL and the players’ union to resolve cases involving discipline for on-field matters.

Safeties Ed Reed, then with the Baltimore Ravens, and Dashon Goldson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had one-game suspensions reduced to fines via appeals over the past two seasons. Reed had his suspension reduced to a $50,000 fine last season and Goldson was given a $100,000 fine instead of a suspension earlier this season.

Meriweather’s suspension is without pay and, if it stands, it would cost him $141,176 of his $1.2 million salary for the season. He would miss the game in Denver this weekend and the Redskins’ game a week later against the San Diego Chargers at FedEx Field.

He was penalized Sunday for hits on Bears wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall. The NFL said in a written release Monday announcing the suspension that it was imposed for “repeat violations this season of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, including two in Sunday’s Washington-Chicago Bears game.”

Meriweather was fined $42,000 by the league earlier this season for a hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy. Meriweather appealed that fine but it is not known if it was reduced.

He defended Sunday’s hits on Jeffery and Marshall, calling them “legit” and saying after the game: “I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody.”

Post Sports Live’s LaVar Arrington on Meriweather:

The NFL suspended Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather for two games after being penalized twice for illegal hits in the Redskins' game against the Bears. Post Sports Live's LaVar Arrington says Meriweather needs to be re-taught how to tackle. (Post Sports Live/The Washington Post)

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesday.

What’s ahead:

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More on the Redskins:

Meriweather suspended for two games for repeated illegal hits

Reid: NFL sends the right message about head hits

Redskins said to be interested in trading TE Davis | Special teams improved?

Broncos’ Manning almost didn’t make it through neck-surgery ordeal

D.C. Sports Bog: Bennett wanted to punch Meriweather | Deion: RGIII scripted | More

Follow: @MikeJonesWaPo | @MarkMaske | @Insider | Insider on Facebook

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · October 22, 2013

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