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When Brandon Meriweather returns to the field on Sunday after being reinstated from a suspension, how he plays – and more accurately, the way he plays – will be scrutinized by players, coaches, commentators and everyone else interested in the evolution of football.
After saying he's going to "take peoples' knees out" to avoid another suspension for hits to the head, Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather struck another blow _ declaring that "people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league."
After delivering three sacks to help the Green Bay Packers overcome the absences of hurt linebackers Clay Matthews and Brad Jones, A.J. Hawk proudly declared, "It's kind of been our motto for a long time around here: `Next man up.'"
The uproar over Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather obscures a more fundamental question. Can football be made safe? Is this simply a behavior problem — something that can be addressed through the right combination of rules, discipline and improved technique — or is the real issue the game?
Washington Redskins free safety Brandon Meriweather's dangerous habit of leading with his helmet will cost him two games, the latest sanction from a league determined to make the game safer by discouraging blows to the head.