Washington Redskins free safety Brandon Meriweather's dangerous habit of leading with his helmet will cost him two games, the latest sanction from a league determined to make the game safer by discouraging blows to the head.
The NFL announced Monday that Meriweather will be suspended for this week's game against the Denver Broncos and the following game against the San Diego Chargers, a severe blow to a struggling defense as the Redskins try to recover from their poor start to the season.
Meriweather has the right to appeal. If he does, an expedited hearing will be held this week and a ruling issued before the Broncos game.
He was flagged twice for hits on defenseless receivers Sunday in a 45-41 win over the Chicago Bears. In the third quarter he was called for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Alshon Jeffery. In the fourth quarter, he was penalized for a helmet-first hit to the head and neck area of Brandon Marshall.
In announcing the suspension, the league cited Meriweather's status as a repeat offender. He was fined $42,000 for a helmet-first hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy in Week 2, forcing Lacy out of the game with a concussion. Later in that same game, another helmet-first hit left Meriweather with a concussion, knocking him out of the game.
Harvin to practice
Wide receiver Percy Harvin is returning to practice for the Seattle Seahawks after missing the first seven weeks of the regular season following hip surgery.
The Seahawks made the announcement Monday. The team is not scheduled to practice until Tuesday following last Thursday's win over Arizona. Harvin has been on the physically-unable-to-perform list all season after surgery to repair the labrum in his hip in early August.
Seattle now has three weeks to add Harvin to the active roster. He could play as soon as next Monday at St. Louis and the latest Harvin could return would be Week 11 against Minnesota.
Nick Foles has a concussion and Michael Vick is still recovering from a hamstring injury, leaving the Philadelphia Eagles uncertain of a starting quarterback for their game Sunday with the New York Giants. If neither Foles nor Vick can play, rookie Matt Barkley is expected to start. ... The Miami Dolphins acquired offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie from the Baltimore Ravens for a conditional late-round draft pick. McKinnie lost his starting job with Baltimore two weeks ago. ... Jacksonville Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley left the team following his father's death in Zumbrota, Minn. He is expected to rejoin the team in London, possibly as early as Wednesday. The Jaguars play the San Francisco 49ers in London on Sunday. ... The Tennessee Titans released kick returner Darius Reynaud a day after he fumbled a punt in a loss against San Francisco, stopping an attempted fourth-quarter rally. ... The Houston Texans released rookies Cierre Wood, Sam Montgomery and Willie Jefferson for violating team rules.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun