Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson and Indianapolis colts linebacker Erik Walden have both been suspended without pay for one game each for violating NFL safety rules, the league announced.
The suspensions were levied by NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks.
Goldson was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons after making direct, helmet-to-helmet contact with a defenseless receiver: Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White.
The violation of this rule was Goldson’s third of the season. Goldson was fined $30,000 for striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area against the New York Jets. He was initially suspended for making direct, helmet-to-helmet contact with a defenseless receiver against the New Orleans Saints. The discipline for the Week 2 violation was subsequently reduced on appeal to a $100,000 fine by hearing officer Matt Birk.
He's expected to appeal.
Goldson may not practice this week nor play in the Buccaneers’ game this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. He may not participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension. Goldson will be reinstated on Monday, November 25.
Walden was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of last Thursday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans. After ripping the helmet off the head of Titans tight end Delanie Walker, Walden delivered a head butt with his helmet to Walker’s uncovered head. Both actions are violations of the playing rules.
Walden may not practice this week nor play in the Colts’ game this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. He may not participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension. Walden will be reinstated on Monday, November 25.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, suspensions may be appealed within three business days and an expedited hearing and decision requested in advance of Sunday’s game. Appeals are heard and decided by either Birk or Ted Cottrell, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFL Players Association to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.