UPDATED WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23 AT 2 P.M. MDT: Ted Cottrell, the hearing officer in the Meriweather's appeal of his two-game suspension, has reduced the discipline to a one-game suspension without pay.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- This Sunday, the Broncos face the Washington Redskins in a Week 8 matchup.
They will do so with the opponent missing one of its starting safeties.
The league announced Monday that Washington safety Brandon Meriweather had been suspended for two games due to repeat violations this season of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players. He had two such hits in Week 7's Washington-Chicago tilt.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks imposed the suspension, which meant Meriweather could not practice, play or participate in any football activities during a two-game span. He would be reinstated on Monday, Nov. 4.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, however, the suspension could be appealed within three business days -- and an expedited hearing and decision could be requested in advance of Sunday's Broncos-Redskins game.
Meriweather did appeal, and it was heard by Ted Cottrell, one of two officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.
Cottrell reduced the discipline to a one-game suspension without pay. Now, the safety will miss only this week's game against the Broncos.