GREEN BAY – Running back Eddie Lacy’s status for the Green Bay Packers’ game next Sunday at Cincinn ati is unclear, but the player who gave him a concussion Sunday – Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, who later gave himself a concussion, too – will get off with only a fine and no suspension for the helmet-to-helmet hit.
A National Football League source confirmed Monday evening that the league is reviewing Meriweather’s hit on Lacy, which came at the end of Lacy’s one and only carry in the Packers’ 38-20 victory over the Redskins Sunday at Lambeau Field. While the hit is expected to draw a fine, it aparently will not result in a suspension. ESPN's Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen were first to report that Meriweather was expected to avoid suspension.
Meriweather, who was fined $50,000 in 2010 for a pair of helmet-to-helmet hits when he was with the New England Patriots, clearly launched and led with his helmet when he hit Lacy, who suffered a concussion and missed the remainder of the game. The hit came on the game’s fifth play from scrimmage.
If Meriweather were being suspended, the league would have made that announcement Monday, as it did with Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson, who was suspended one game for his helmet-to-helmet hit on New Orleans running back Darren Sproles Sunday. Goldson is appealing the suspension. Typically, the league announces suspensions earlier in the week to give the player a chance to appeal and the club a chance to prepare to be missing that player for the following week’s game.
Meriweather’s hit on Lacy wasn’t the only questionable helmet-to-helmet hit he made on Sunday, however.
Lacy was replaced by James Starks, who then broke into the open for a 20-yard gain early in the second quarter. Meriweather closed on Starks, who was running down the Packers’ sideline, and again made helmet-to-helmet contact, but this time, Starks absorbed the blow without incident while Meriweather knocked himself out. After lying motionless on the turf, Meriweather eventually sat up and left the field under his own power but did not return to the game after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Looking at the play from multiple angles, it appears the side of Meriweather’s helmet hits the side of Starks’ helmet. Because Meriweather is coming from an angle and the hit isn’t clearly with the crown of the helmet, it appears the hit on Lacy is the only one he will be punished for.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said little about the hit Monday in his usual day-after-the-game press briefing.
“The Washington safety definitely led with his helmet, so I know that’s not what we’re looking for,” McCarthy said.
Asked about the hit on Starks, McCarthy replied, “Same thing, different result.”
McCarthy wouldn’t say if he was surprised that Meriweather wasn’t flagged for either of the hits.
“Officiating is not my cup of tea, so we’ll just leave it up to the league office,” he said. “They look at every play and I’m sure they’ll have an opinion on both of those plays.”
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