NFL to start suspending players

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Shades of the NHL and its head-shot crackdown.

In the wake of a number of violent hits to the head, the NFL revealed Tuesday that it will start enforcing existing rules more stringently by suspending players for dangerous hits--especially when helmet-to-helmet contact is involved.

New England safety Brandon Meriweather was not suspended, but has found himself $50,000 lighter in the pocket for his hit Sunday on Baltimore tight end Todd Heap.

Pittsburgh's James Harrison took a $75,000 fine of his own after injuring two members of the Browns, Josh Cribbs and Mohamed Massaquoi.

Atlanta DB Dunta Robinson was fined $50,000 for knocking himself and Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson out of Sunday's game on a helmet-to-helmet hit.

The players could still face suspensions after the NFL finishes reviewing the plays in question.

Perhaps that would get the players to clean up their games, since the fines don't seem to be doing the trick.

"I'm going to be aggressive, point blank," Meriweather told a Boston radio station.

"I won't change my game, period. I'm sorry it happened. Heap is actually a real good friend of mine. I talked to him yesterday and let him know it wasn't intentional and he told me he understood."

Meriweather added that it will be difficult to take helmet shots out of the game.

"You never know what someone is going to do," he said.

"You can try to go with your shoulder, but what if they move the same way you move, then it's still going to be head to head. There's a million different ways you can get head-to-head contact. You just gotta play aggressive. When things happen like that you just pray that nobody gets hurt."

Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants thinks the NFL is going too far with its policing of defensive players.

"So are you telling me that now I have to slow down," Rolle said in the New York Daily News.

"This is the game of football, this is a game of speed. This is a game of power. This is a game of physical guys going to battle. Once you start saying to guys 'You'll get suspended for a game,' that's when you're going to get a very, very tentative football game."

SAY CHEESE!

Brett Favre has met with NFL Security vice president Milt Ahlerich at an undisclosed location, but details were slow to emerge.

The NFL was concerned about Favre's alleged sexual harassment of former New York Jets gameday host Jenn Sterger when Favre played for the Jets.

Sterger has not commented on the matter or met with the NFL.

Favre's agent Bus Cook attended the meeting as well.

Favre is slated to return to Lambeau Field for a game against the Packers this Sunday.

QUICK HITS

Albert Haynesworth is still a member of the Washington Redskins. There had been speculation all season that Haynesworth would be moved by the trade deadline, which has now passed ... According to ESPN, Kansas City and Tampa Bay beat the trade deadline with DE Alex Magee and a draft pick heading to Tampa for an undisclosed draft pick ... Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown worked out with the team Tuesday after serving a four-game suspension for taking a banned substance ...The Chicago Bears have released defensive end Charles Grant. The eight-year veteran was only with the team for a couple of weeks. DE Barry Turner has been brought up from the practice roster ... According to league sources, Bill Parcells has moved his stuff out of Miami's headquarters and is not a part of the decision-making team anymore ...The Eagles expect to be without DeSean Jackson (concussion) Sunday against Tennessee and Kevin Kolb will be the team's starting quarterback, barring a massive surprise.


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