Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather has been suspended for the first two games of the regular season for an illegal hit on Torrey Smith. Meriweather is a known head-hunter, and the league noted that the hit on Smith was his “sixth violation of unnecessary roughness rules relating to his hits to defenseless players and impermissible use of the helmet.”
Despite the fact that Meriweather has been a dangerous player throughout his career, several of his teammates came to his defense after the punishment was handed down. Redskins long snapper Nick Sundberg wondered how Meriweather’s suspension is the same length as Ray Rice’s.
Sketchyyyyyy… Seems a bit excessive, I mean it's not like he knocked out his wife in a casino elevator… On video…
— Nick Sundberg (@NickSundberg) August 25, 2014
Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall said that Smith ducked rather than Meriweather aiming high and urged his teammate to keeping playing the way he has been.
“Keep hitting,” Hall said Monday. “I’ll pay the fine.”
Meriweather, who knocked Eddie Lacy out with a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit last season, has always been a dirty player. The hit on Smith was borderline, but he no longer gets the benefit of the doubt.
As for the Rice comments, the league is going to hear that a lot. The NFL has been heavily criticized for only giving Rice a two-game ban after he was seen dragging his wife out of an elevator, which is why the league is considering harsher punishment for future offenders.
GIF via @cjzero