Washington Redskins strong safety Brandon Meriweather says he will appeal the NFL’s $42,000 fine for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy last Sunday.
Meriweather drilled Lacy early in the first quarter and knocked him from the game with a concussion. But he himself was later knocked out with a concussion after an attempted tackle on Green Bay running back James Starks.
So does Meriweather, a repeat offender in the eyes of the NFL, have a better feel now for what the league will and will not accept?
“Honestly, it’s a fine line,” Meriweather said after Friday’s practice. “If I say ‘No, I don’t’ then I’m going to get criticized for it. If I say ‘Yeah, I do,’ then they going to say ‘Why I play the way I play?’ I really can’t say either way.”
Meriweather, listed as questionable this week against Detroit thanks to his concussion, didn’t want to say much more than that he plans to appeal. He wasn’t about to start making his case in public. That would probably only come back to haunt him. But one thing Meriweather claims he can’t do is worry about what’s acceptable in the heat of a game.
“The people who think while they playing is the people who retire early,” Meriweather said.
Meriweather said he will always err on the side of aggression with his play. That has landed him in trouble in the past. But he’s also willing to listen to his coaches if they believe his hits are questionable.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan defended Meriweather’s second hit on Sunday, but stopped short of that when asked about the tackle on Lacy. Meriweather admits the NFL is changing. Players must adapt. Some just find that process more difficult than others.
“I think everybody has to change the way they tackle,” Meriweather said. “They say hit low. I done seen people get concussions from hitting low, too. Honestly, I think it’s no real safe way to play this game. You know what you signed up for, you know what it is and I think if you gonna do it, then you do it 100 percent.”