NFL keeping close eye on Brandon Meriweather
If the fines don’t get the attention of Chicago Bears safety Brandon Meriweather, maybe a visit to the NFL offices in New York will.
Meriweather was fined for the second straight week – zapped $25,000 for a late hit last Monday in the Bears’ 24-13 loss to the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. He was popped for $20,000 the week before because of a helmet shot on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. As a repeat offender – Meriweather was fined $50,000 for vicious hits in a game against the Baltimore Ravens last season – he’s now on the league’s radar.
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King reported Friday night on “NBC Sports Talk” on Versus that NFL vice president Ray Anderson, who is in charge of league discipline, is “disturbed” by Meriweather’s play. If it continues, Meriweather is expected to be summoned to New York like Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was last season.
The chances Meriweather crosses the line were reduced this week. He was benched in favor of rookie Chris Conte, who will make his first start Sunday night against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field.
Bears coach Lovie Smith was asked about the repeated illegal hits by Meriweather earlier in the week, but he seemed more focused on the repeated poor play by the former New England Patriots Pro Bowler.
“Can’t worry too much about that,” Smith said. “We try to coach the players up the best we can with it.”
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune