Meriweather suspension reduced to one game

Brandon Meriweather's suspension will keep him out Sunday against the Broncos. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

Brandon Meriweather’s suspension will keep him out Sunday against the Broncos. (LM Otero/Associated Press)

The NFL’s two-game suspension of Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was reduced to one game Wednesday on appeal, according to a person familiar with the case.

Meriweather’s appeal of his suspension was heard by former NFL coach Ted Cottrell, one of two appeals officers jointly appointed by the league and players’ union to resolve cases involving discipline for on-field matters. He cut the penalty in half. Meriweather is to sit out the Redskins’ game Sunday at Denver. His suspension is without pay and he is to lose $70,588 of his $1.2 million salary for this season.

Meriweather now is eligible to play in the Redskins’ home game Nov. 3 against the San Diego Chargers. His original two-game suspension was to cost him $141,176.

The league announced Monday that it had suspended Meriweather for two games for repeated violations of the sport’s player safety rules. The suspension was imposed a day after Meriweather was penalized twice for illegal hits during the Redskins’ win last Sunday over the Chicago Bears at FedEx Field. Meriweather exercised his right under the sport’s collective bargaining agreement to an expedited appeal and a ruling before this weekend’s game.

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.

Alshon Jeffrey, Brandon Meriweather

Brandon Meriweather delivers a hit on Alshon Jeffrey that results in a penalty on Sunday. (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post)

Meriweather 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.”

Update, 4:05 p.m.

The NFL’s two-game suspension of Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been reduced to one game on appeal, the league announced Wednesday afternoon.

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 Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins resume practice in preparation for Sunday’s 4:25 p.m. game in Denver.

More on the Redskins and NFL:

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