Brandon Meriweather's ban reduced

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather's suspension for illegal hits in Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears was reduced to one game without pay Wednesday from the two-game ban he received earlier this week.

Meriweather's appeal was heard Wednesday by hearing officer Ted Cottrell. He will now be forced to sit out the Redskins' game Sunday against the Denver Broncos.

Meriweather was flagged twice for personal fouls in the Redskins' 45-41 win over the Bears. He was called for a helmet-to-helmet hit on receiver Alshon Jeffery at the end of a 28-yard catch late in the third quarter. Late in the fourth quarter, Meriweather launched into receiver Brandon Marshall after he dropped a pass in the end zone.

It's not the first time the NFL has punished Meriweather. He was fined $42,000 for two hits in a Week 2 loss at Green Bay. And he was fined $50,000 for a hit in 2010 with New England and accrued $45,000 in fines a year later with Chicago.

Earlier Wednesday, Meriweather's teammates fired back at comments from the Chicago Bears, with Washington Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall saying he has no respect for tight end Martellus Bennett.

Bennett said on his radio show on WSCR-670 in Chicago on Monday, "I still want to punch him in the face."

Bears receiver Brandon Marshall said after Sunday's game that the NFL should consider banning Meriweather from the league.

"I don't know [Bennett] personally, but he had a chance to say whatever he wanted to during the game, after the game -- and the kid didn't open his mouth," Hall said. "No respect for a guy who wants to take a shot after the fact. No respect for a guy like that."

"Guys like that, maybe he needs to get suspended or taken out of the game completely. ... I understand big hits. That's part of our game," Marshall said Sunday. "But when you have a guy that does it week in and week out, that's when it becomes a problem."

Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson scoffed at the idea that Meriweather should be kicked out of the league. He and Hall both pointed to safety Reed Doughty, who took a vicious hit while diving for an onside kick and suffered a concussion.

"Brandon Marshall would be kicked out of the league for pushing off every time he gets to the top of the route," Wilson said. "Every time a receiver comes in and cracks on a safety, he should be kicked out of the league for hitting him. The guy that hit Reed Doughty on the kickoff -- I could hear it from the sideline ... no one says anything about punching [that player] in the face. It has nothing to do with anybody having a vendetta against anyone. We're just out there trying to play football the best way we know how.

"Let the league decide what they do. Let the refs throw the flag, and let's just play the game. ... It's football. You signed up for this."

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