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NFL Roundup: Saints' Goldson fined $100,000, suspension overturned

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Dashon Goldson has been fined $100,000 but was cleared to play this Sunday against New England after his one-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit in Sunday's loss to the Saints was overturned.

Former NFL center Matt Birk heard Goldson's appeal. Goldson was flagged for the hit on Saints running back Darren Sproles, his third penalty in two regular-season games for unncessary roughness or helmet-to-helmet contact. Goldson leads the NFL in personal fouls since 2010.

He was fined $30,000 in Week 1 for his hit on New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland. Birk also handled Goldson's appeal of that fine, but upheld it.

Goldson, a free agent who signed a five-year, $40 million contract, said he received a letter that spelled out the violation, including the assertion that he failed to make an attempt to "wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play. The illegal contact clearly could have been avoided."

He was initially suspended for one game for Sunday's hit but appealed and had the ban overturned in time to participate in Wednesday's practice in preparation for Sunday's trip to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

The Buccaneers lead the NFL in penalty yards.

Cleveland Browns coach Rob Chudzinski informed quarterback Brian Hoyer he will start Sunday's game at Minnesota.

Hoyer has one career start in four seasons and spent his first three seasons as Tom Brady's primary backup in New England.

He had been listed as the No. 3 quarterback on the Browns' depth chart behind Jason Campbell and starter Brandon Weeden, but Chudzinski hinted Monday that he wasn't locked in on Campbell.

Weeden will miss Sunday's game with a thumb injury, though the Browns have denied reports that Weeden's injury could keep him out several weeks.

Chudzinski allowed that the Browns would need to take a "wait and see" approach with Weeden. Based on history, Weeden might have reason to be concerned about his job security. At 0-2, the Browns are looking for a spark.

Hoyer, 27, has never had an extended audition in the NFL. But he has been a target of first-year Browns general manager Mike Lombardi since Hoyer signed with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent from Michigan State in 2009.

Hoyer was a restricted free agent with the Arizona Cardinals during the 2013 offseason and was released in May, opening the door for him to join Lombardi's Browns. Cleveland had already signed Campbell to a $1.5 million contract.

The Denver Broncos placed left tackle Ryan Clady on season-ending injured reserve.

The All-Pro suffered a Lisfranc sprain in the arch of his left foot in the final minutes of the Broncos' 41-23 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

The Broncos were hoping the anchor of their offensive line could return to protect quarterback Peyton Manning before the end of the season, but medical tests on Tuesday ruled that out and he will undergo surgery. The normal recovery time from the Lisfranc injury is three to four months.

Chris Clark, a practice squad player who finalized a two-year contract extension on Friday, will step in as Denver's starting left tackle on Monday night against the Oakland Raiders.

To replace Clady on the roster, the Broncos signed offensive tackle Winston Justice on Wednesday. Justice's veteran minimum contract includes the possibility to make $350,000 in incentives, according to ESPN.

Clady signed a five-year, $52.5 million contract extension in mid-July that included $15 million in salary and signing bonuses this season, making him the team's second highest-paid player behind Manning.

The former first-round draft pick had started 82 consecutive regular-season games and three playoff games since 2008.

Tennessee Titans strong safety Bernard Pollard said he was fined $42,000 for his fourth-quarter hit on Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Johnson left the game after hauling in a pass inside the 5-yard line and is being treated for a concussion from the hit by Pollard, a former teammate with a reputation for hard hitting.

Pollard arrived a half-step late to break up the pass but put his shoulder into Johnson's shoulder and facemask, forcing Johnson out of bounds along the sideline. Johnson appeared to be shaken as he hit the ground, while Pollard ran from the play pumping his fist to celebrate the high-impact tackle.

Pollard said Wednesday via Twitter that he was fined $42,000 for that hit.

"So @nfl said I did 'everything right' but 42k later I get fined. It's called football but they want 2 hand touch," Pollard (@Crushboy31) wrote.

Johnson and left tackle Duane Brown could miss Sunday's game at Baltimore with injuries.

Coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday that Johnson would be subject to the NFL's concussion protocol and didn't anticipate knowing the Pro Bowl wide receiver's status until late in the week.

Brown is battling turf toe and said he'll be a game-time decision against the Ravens this week.

Indianapolis Colts tight end Dwayne Allen is facing season-ending hip surgery, coach Chuck Pagano said.

Allen was injured in the Colts' season opener against the Oakland Raiders on Sept. 8 and sat out last Sunday's loss to the Miami Dolphins. He had one catch in the opener that resulted in a 20-yard touchdown.

As a rookie last season, Allen started all 16 regular-season games and had 45 receptions for 521 yards and three touchdowns.

With Allen lost for the season, the burden at tight end falls on second-year pro Coby Fleener. Dominuque Jones also could see more playing time.

Last week, the Colts lost starting running back Vick Ballard for the season with a knee injury.

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was fined $42,000 by the NFL for his hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy during Sunday's game.

Meriweather will not face a suspension despite being a repeat offender of the NFL rule that prohibits leading with the helmet on a tackle. His fine was the same as Tennessee Titans safety Bernard Pollard received on Wednesday for an illegal hit on Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson that resulted in a concussion.

But Meriweather's financial penalty was far less than the $100,000 levied against Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson earlier Wednesday for head shots in Weeks 1 and 2.

Lacy suffered a concussion as a result of Meriweather's helmet to his chin.

Later in Sunday's game, Meriweather sustained a concussion when he tackled Packers running back James Starks.

Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy announced Wednesday that Lacy was progressing through the concussion recovery protocol but that Starks would start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Cincinnati Bengals placed defensive end Robert Geathers on season-ending injured reserve and re-signed safety Jeromy Miles.

Geathers suffered an elbow injury during Monday night's win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. A former starter, Geathers was the team's No. 3 defensive end this year and had no tackles in two games.

The 30-year-old veteran has spent his entire 10-year NFL career with the Bengals (1-1).

Miles was waived Monday and then brought back to fill the roster vacancy left by Geathers. Miles is in his fourth year in the league, all with the Bengals, and has played in 39 games. He led Cincinnati in special teams tackles in 2011 and was second last year.

The Bengals also signed free agent cornerback Curtis Marsh and waived linebacker J.K. Schaffer, who had been promoted from the practice squad for Monday night's game.
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