NEW YORK — Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather’s two-game suspension from the NFL for multiple helmet-to-helmet hits was cut in half Wednesday on appeal.
Two days after Meriweather was told he would miss time for repeated violations of player safety rules, hearing officer Ted Cottrell reduced the punishment to one game. Cottrell was jointly appointed by the league and the players union.
Meriweather’s suspension by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks came for repeated hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players, including two in Washington’s 45-41 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Meriweather was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit when tackling receiver Alshon Jeffery on a 28-yard completion with about two minutes left in the third quarter. He also was penalized for a helmet-first hit on Brandon Marshall in the end zone on an incomplete pass with a little more than four minutes remaining in the game.
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Meriweather said he’s tried to change his game to suit the NFL’s tackling rules.
“I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody,” he said. “I didn’t lead with my — didn’t launch with my — head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do.”
MIAMI — An arbitrator has ruled former college player Cleodis Floyd from Franklin High School in Seattle can become an NFL agent even though he was convicted of bank fraud.
The arbitrator ruled against an NFL Players Association decision to deny the agent application of the 29-year-old Floyd, who played at Colorado State and was convicted of bank fraud while in school, said his attorney.
Floyd acknowledged his troubled past, but since his conviction he has worked many jobs, performed charitable work, graduated from law school and passed the Washington state bar, his lawyer said.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning doesn’t like to skip any snaps, so you can imagine how unhappy he was when a tender ankle forced him to miss practice for the first time since joining the Denver Broncos last year.
Manning said he plans to return to practice Thursday when the banged-up Broncos (6-1) continue preparations for Mike Shanahan’s return to Denver with the Washington Redskins (2-4).
• Cleveland coach Rob Chudzinski said he will bench quarterback Brandon Weeden and replace him with Jason Campbell when the Browns face the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. It’ll be Campbell’s first start since Nov. 19, when he filled in for Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and suffered a 32-7 defeat against the San Francisco 49ers.
• Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was a full participant at practice for the first time since he pulled his left hamstring Oct. 6.
• Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson, who has missed four straight games with a hamstring injury, practiced and said he feels ready to “give it a go.”
• San Francisco 49ers rookie linebacker Nick Moody returned to practice for the first time since breaking his hand during Week 1.
• Christian Ponder will likely return to the starting quarterback job for the Minnesota Vikings now that Josh Freeman reported to team headquarters this week with concussion-like symptoms.
• The New England Patriots have re-signed veteran defensive lineman Andre Carter.
• The New York Giants placed starting center David Baas on injured reserve after he suffered his third injury this season.
• Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill was limited in practice because of a sore right shoulder.