Posted October 21, 2013

NFL suspends Brandon Meriweather two games for dangerous hits vs. Bears

Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins
Brandon Meriweather's insistence on hitting high could earn him a one- or two-game ban.

Brandon Meriweather’s insistence on hitting high could earn him a one- or two-game ban. (The Washington Times /Landov)

Brandon Marshall suggested that Washington safety Brandon Meriweather “get suspended or taken out of the game completely” following two more reckless hits by Meriweather Sunday. The NFL may have listened.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Meriweather is facing a one- or two-game suspension for the pair of personal fouls he committed in Washington’s win over Chicago — one on Alshon Jeffery, another on Marshall. (Update: Meriweather was hit with a two-game suspension on Monday.)

Meriweather already drew a $42K fine earlier this season for knocking out Eddie Lacy with a helmet-to-helmet hit. Meriweather also injured himself in that Green Bay game, on another high tackle attempt, against James Starks.

“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “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.”

Meriweather and Marshall collided as Marshall cut across the Washington end zone trying to catch a pass. The Bears’ receiver dipped his body slightly as he reached for the ball, and Meriweather launched himself right into Marshall’s head, stunning both players temporarily.

The hit Meriweather delivered on Jeffery earlier in the game was at least equally violent, if not more so. Jeffery had just started running after leaping for a reception when Meriweather drilled him with a helmet to the chin. (GIF via DraftDaddy.)

Meriweather definitely falls under the “repeat offender” category by now. He was fined $50,000 for a pair of hits on Baltimore tight end Todd Heap during a 2010 game, then compiled another $45K in fines the next season. He has not, at any point, been suspended for his on-field play.

That all may — and should — change this week. Given the NFL’s ever-increasing emphasis on eliminating dangerous head shots, Meriweather’s repeated insistence on targeting opponents up high has to be tagged as unacceptable. Many of Ndamukong Suh’s critics have argued that his next infraction should result in a suspension because a series of fines has done nothing to change his playing style. The same reasoning could be applied to Meriweather, who has heard from the league multiple times about his dangerous tackling, only to continue it.

He’s hurting his own team, too. His penalty on Jeffery helped the Bears march for a Matt Forte touchdown; the one on Marshall negated what would have been a third down for Chicago, instead giving the Bears a 1st-and-goal.

A suspension is more than warranted at this point, and it appears that the league agrees.

52 comments
MorganPharis
MorganPharis

Should be suspended for the rest of the regular season without pay, the hits are so obviously intentional. If he has another incident, he should be suspended for a full calendar season, 16 games from the time of the incident, carrying through to the next season, no pay, no playoffs.

TimSingleton
TimSingleton

This player has no business in the NFL. Its a professional league and he acts like a child. These guys make way to much money to act like this. I make 50000a year and if I did what he did more than once I wouldn't have a job. He isn't good enough to not be replaced and should have been after the second incident not the second incident in one game. I call this a try hard. He isn't good enough to be on the play when it happens so he does this to make it seem like he was actually making a difference. He doesn't belong in the league in any capacity.

MOJO1
MOJO1

Better yet: he gets paralyzed for one of these hits.

jbc123
jbc123

I watched this kid play here in NE for several seasons. He was always late to the ball, and tried to make up for it with the big hit. The result here was he kept hurting his own guys, three or four times over the time here he ended up coming in late and hurting another defensive player.  I'm surprised the other players in the league don't take matters into their own hands, when it comes to clowns like this. I'd say more like four games.

difflja
difflja

Just watching yesterday's game was enough for me to ask that question.....and he's a repeat offender!!  Wow, this would be handled very differently in an NCAAF game.

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

I'm a redskins fan and he deserves it. He's behaving like a jerk.

ParishToni1
ParishToni1

All the "tough guys" commenting how Marshall is a baby or that football should have hits like this wouldn't last a game playing in the NFL, but you guys sure are quick to talk smack.  Hits like the one Meriweather put on Jeffery are not taught in the pee wee league, middle school, high school, or college for a reason.  To protect the receiver and the hitter.  There is no reason to launch crown first towards a guys head.  He could have put the wood to Jeffery without launching head first.  This also isn't the first time Meriweather has done this, nor is it the first year he has done this. If you are a Washington fan, tough, its time for a suspension.

alex13amaya
alex13amaya

its perfectly clear that the hit is shoulder to shoulder

alex13amaya
alex13amaya

Don't see anything wrong with that hit on Marshall, maybe Marshall should play with barbie dolls instead of football

AbeAMirehIII
AbeAMirehIII

If you don't like hits, then go watch your local flag football league. There's nothing wrong with that hit. How many steps is a receiver supposed to take before you're allowed to hit him? How about we give them 20 yards before anyone touches them? Be serious. If you don't want to take a hit, be a soccer player.

Joe R2
Joe R2

Merriweather is the dirtiest POS in the league.  And that's saying a lot considering there's a guy names Suh that tries to twist QB's heads off every Sunday...

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

You mean one of Mike Shanahan's players breaks the rules and tries to injure an opponent?? Hard to believe.

kennybrooks
kennybrooks

Nothing in the least wrong with the hit in the gif above.  Did not hit him in the head and was a very good way to get the bigger receiver down.  If you can't take a hit like that in football, maybe you should consider golf or baseball the sport of your career.

toyota_tundra
toyota_tundra

Well just take tackling out of the  game completely then.

jbc123
jbc123

@difflja  Some of the ejections I've been seeing in the NCAA seem a bit  questionable. I understand all the safety stuff, but the margin between OK and ejection seems to depend on the opinion of the Ref (as always) who seems to be erring on the side of throwing the flag.  I only watch a couple of college games a week, so perhaps my sample size isn't large enough.

JesusLouiseus
JesusLouiseus

@ParishToni1 Of course we wouldn't last.  The only reason we watch these maniacs is for the violence.  You get to be a larger than life, popular millionaire and the trade off is you die at 50.  You get your fun, we get our blood. 

jbc123
jbc123

@KeithKoloff  Ever hear of Darryl Stingley? Look it up, he lived his life in a wheelchair, and died a very young man, all due to an unnecessary hit in an exhibition game. Go play your Madden.

Sammyz
Sammyz

@KeithKoloff You need to get your eyes checked.  He clearly hit Jefferys in the face with the crown of his helmet. More so, it almost appears as if he doesn't even bother to try and shift his head to the left to avoid a helmet to helmet hit.

Merriweather used to be a Bear and I can say he was a dirty player then too.  

Sammyz
Sammyz

@alex13amaya You need to get your eyes checked.  He clearly hit Jefferys in the face with the crown of his helmet. More so, it almost appears as if he doesn't even bother to try and shift his head to the left to avoid a helmet to helmet hit.


Merriweather used to be a Bear and I can say he was a dirty player then too.  

AbeAMirehIII
AbeAMirehIII

@Joe R2 You're just upset that the Bears lost the game. Good luck next week?

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@NoQNoSuperBowl I wouldn't go so far as to say that.  In fact, the second helmet to helmet hit, the one on Brandon Marshall, Dante Hall ran over where both players were down and checked on MARSHALL.  Granted, he then proceeded to yell at the refs that they didn't force him off the field when he tried to stay on, but they're not all cheaters.

djp9
djp9

@kennybrooks when's the last time you took a helmet to the chin kennybrooks?

My guess would be absolutely never. Too many guys who think the league is becoming 'wussified' have at best laced them up in high school. 

Vast majority? Never.

Just like guys think they are tough because they're packin.

Also, are you watching a different GIF kenny boy cause the one above CLEARY shows the helmet being planted in the chin of Alshon, he straightens his back, bends forward and leads with the head. Even in my day (the 80s) this was illegal (spearing) just wasn't always called.

Tell you what Mr. kennybrooks, this is an open invite for you to come on down and let me play some chin music for you, just to help you sharpen your football skills and experience.

Joe R2
Joe R2

@kennybrooks 

Kenny Brooks, Mr. keyboard tough guy, let's see you take a helmet to the chin or chest and see if your b.itch as.s gets up

BosephHeyden
BosephHeyden

@kennybrooksExcept you're going off a gif.  They showed the hit in real time three or four times from opposite angles and, in typical Brandon Meriweather fashion, he lowered his head and went helmet to helmet on a guy when he didn't need to.  For all the hate Ndamukong Suh gets on his hits, Meriweather has been a dirtier player for a longer time.   Bill Belicheck told him to change his approach to avoid penalties, he didn't, and he got cut from the Patriots.  Lovie Smith told him the same thing, he didn't, and he got cut from the Bears.  Heck, he knocked out one of his own guys AND himself before his season debut last year, and he'd already been fined once this year.


I get people want to complain about Goodell and his safety initiatives and claim no one would be able to survive in the good old days of football when they made minimum wage and played in poorly kept fields, but every so often there's a player that is not good for football.  Brandon Meriweather is that type of player.

toyota_tundra
toyota_tundra

@kennybrooks The only other option would be to hit them low and they don't want that either. So I just say give 'em all flags and just play flag football. It's just getting crazier and crazier. I rarely even watch the games anymore. I just catch the highlights and look at the box scores and scan the headlines for fines and/or suspension from the National Fine League.

mrfrogburger
mrfrogburger

@toyota_tundra Helmet to helmet is not tackling. Look at old football games when people would really tackle instead of launching themselves head first to hit a guy. Keep that mindset and the game will be gone fast.

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@Sammyz @alex13amaya That's because Jeffries is like 6'3'' tall! Had it been a shorter guy it wouldn't have happened. When tackling people you can't estimate where their head is going to be when you tackle them. SImply impossible to do. Jeffries had made the catch and was running with the ball, that's NOT a defenseless receiver.

JSlanderz
JSlanderz

@BosephHeyden @NoQNoSuperBowl Deangelo Hall was just trying to get Marshall out of the game by saying he was concussed.  Hall is an idiot but Meriweather is a dnagerous idiot.

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@djp9 @kennybrooks Football is a VIOLENT sport, no matter what level. . .I think you'd be happy if they just decided to turn the NFL into flag football. WOuld that make you happy?

cwgurney25
cwgurney25

@toyota_tundra @kennybrooks are you guys serious? Meriweather launched himself at Marshall, leading with his head hitting Marshall in the jaw/temple region. A serious attempt to hurt and intimidate the receiver. Meriweather could simply go for a form tackle aiming between the chest and the knees and take him down. 

ChrisKavanagh
ChrisKavanagh

@Sammyz @JSlanderz @BosephHeyden @NoQNoSuperBowl Maybe you don't understand the game, but that is the job of a good safety! You want to send a message to receivers, "don't come my way!". Merriweather did what he was supposed to, PLANTED Jeffries. I saw nothing to complain about on the Marshal hit.

Budhi
Budhi

@AdamSWalburger @toyota_tundra @cwgurney25 @kennybrooks  

It's true. Quality is going to suffer without quality control.

Look at who is on the practice squad and tell me about drop off. This is not high school football, the margin of error from the laws of physics (velocity + weight = permanent change in function) is very small in the NFL it is a dying sport, left unchecked.

Sammyz
Sammyz

@toyota_tundra @cwgurney25 @kennybrooks Actually, that gif is when he hit Jeffrey.  

In either case, the rules are the rules and Merriweather is an idiot and dirty player.  He was a dirty player when he was on the Bears and he's still a dirty player.

AdamSWalburger
AdamSWalburger

@toyota_tundra @cwgurney25 @kennybrooks  Blah Blah Blah. Player safety is paramount. Without them, there is no league. If all the players get injured it will look like the CFL. If you don't like that then try starting your own league, we saw how the XFL worked out.