The Tampa Bay Buccaneers' rough start to the season just got even worse.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Bucs safety Dashon Goldson was suspended one game by the NFL without pay for his hit on New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles on Sunday. The league considered it a helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless player.
Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather, however, is not expected to be suspended for his Sunday hit on Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy, Rapoport said Monday on NFL Network's "Around the League Live." A fine should be coming. Meriweather hasn't made a similar hit since 2010.
Goldson was suspended largely because this is his fifth such unnecessary-roughness violation since 2011. He can't practice this week or play in the Bucs' game this Sunday against the New England Patriots, and the Tampa Bay Times reported Goldson will miss out on a $264,705 game check.
"You had an unobstructed path to your opponent," NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson informing him of the suspension. "It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent's head.
"You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play," Hanks continued. "This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided."
Goldson and cornerback Darrelle Revis were the two biggest names acquired in Tampa's defensive transformation this offseason. The defense has played exceedingly well overall for the first two weeks this season, but it hasn't held on to fourth-quarter leads. Goldson's expected absence this week makes it more likely that Tom Brady will make his own late-game magic against the Bucs.
Rapoport noted, per a source, that Goldson will appeal the suspension.