STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
Safety DASHON GOLDSON of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been suspended without pay for one game for a flagrant and repeat violation of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations MERTON HANKS. Goldson may not practice this week nor play in the Buccaneers' game this Sunday against the New England Patriots. He may not participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension. Goldson will be reinstated on Monday, September 23.
Goldson was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints for making direct, helmet-to-helmet contact with a defenseless receiver.
The violation was Goldson's fifth for unnecessary roughness since 2011 and his second in the first two weeks of the 2013 season. Goldson was fined $30,000 last week for striking a defenseless player in the head and neck area in the Buccaneers' Week 1 game against the New York Jets.
"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent," Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson informing him of the suspension. "It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent's head. You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play. This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided."
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspension 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 MATT BIRK or TED COTTRELL, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.