Considering how tough the NFL is on repeat offenders in the drug policy, maybe Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather should feel lucky he got just a two-game suspension for his latest illegal hit.
Last year, Meriweather was suspended two games for an illegal hit, but the suspension was reduced to one. And even after yet another violation, he got the same penalty that he got from his fifth go-around (although it's hard to believe this one will be reduced). He'll sit the first two games of this season (at Houston and vs. Jacksonville).
It's hard to say that a repeat violator of, say, the league's marijuana policy or someone who drinks alcohol after being in that program is more of a menace to the NFL than someone who consistently hits an opponent in the head, which is outlawed by the league as it tries to reduce concussions. But Meriweather will be back Week 3, and we'll see if he can avoid doing this for the seventh time.
Meriweather told the Washington Post after the game that he was frustrated because he didn't mean to hit Smith in the head. And, in his defense, it's incredibly tough to pinpoint a hit with how fast the NFL game is. He said he didn't think he deserved a penalty on the play.
“No, I don’t. But at the same time, I’m not the one who wrote the book on penalties,” Meriweather told the Post. “I tried to aim at his numbers. I kind of seen the pass go, and I went in and aimed low, and I hit him with my shoulder. I did everything my coaches taught me to do, and I got the flag.”
The Redskins were already thin at safety. They play the Texans and Jaguars, two of the NFL's worst teams in 2013, in the first two games of the season so maybe the timing is right.
Meriweather said he tried this offseason to work on avoiding illegal hits, and he'll probably try again when he returns to the Redskins, but it seems to be a bit of a nasty habit.
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