Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended for two games by the NFL on Monday for repeat violations of the league rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.
Meriweather was cited for two illegal hits in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears. He was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the third quarter for a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless receiver and again in the fourth quarter for a hit to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver.
Meriweather had been fined $42,000 earlier this season for a hit with his helmet during a game against the Green Bay Packers.
Meriweather has three days to appeal the suspension.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan had said Monday afternoon that he did not expect Meriweather to be suspended.
"I feel like every hit that I took was a legit hit," Meriweather said, according to the Washington Post. "I wasn't trying to be dirty. I wasn't trying to hurt nobody. I didn't launch with my head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do. Everything I did was a pointer from them (league officials). ... You've just got to play. There ain't nothing I can do about it. I just go out there and play."
However, the Bears' Brandon Marshall was critical of Meriweather's style and told the Chicago Tribune, "Guys like that really don't understand that there is life after football."