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Michael Griffin Suspended One Game by the NFL

The NFL has announced they have suspended Michael Griffin for one game.

Thearon W. Henderson

Here is the press release from the NFL about Michael Griffin's suspension:

Safety MICHAEL GRIFFIN of the Tennessee Titans has been suspended without pay for one game for a 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. Griffin may not practice this week nor play in the Titans’ game this Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. He may not participate in any football activities with the team during the suspension. Griffin will be reinstated on Monday, December 2.

Griffin was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders for delivering a blow to the head of a defenseless receiver, Oakland tight end MYCHAL RIVERA.

The violation was Griffin’s second this season and fourth since 2011, all for striking defenseless players in the head and neck area.

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.

This suspension is crap. What is Griffin supposed to do in that situation? The NFL has told him he cannot hit guys in the "head or neck area, so Griffin dives in on a play where a receiver catches the ball down the field.  The problem here is that the receiver was also going to the ground, thus Griffin hit him in the head.

It is a no win situation for defensive backs.  The thing that really surprises me here is the suspension.  Merton Hanks played the position.  You would think he would be able to evaluate that play and see Griffin did the best he could.  Apparently he is in the commissioner's pocket.

Griffin should win his appeal.  If the NFL is gong to suspend players for hits like this one, they might as well just put flags on receivers and quarterbacks.