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Erik Walden, Dashon Goldson suspended for unsafe hits

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

The NFL has suspended Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Erik Walden one game for violating player safety rules, league vice president of football operations Merton Hanks announced Monday.

Both players appealed their penalties by Thursday to arbiters appointed by the NFL and the NFL Players Association. Appeals officers Ted Cottrell and Matt Birk upheld Goldson's and Walden's suspensions, respectively.

Goldson faces his second suspension and his third player-safety violation of the season. He was fined $30,000 for an excessive hit to the head during Week 1 and suspended one game for hitting a defenseless player in the head during Week 2, the latter of which was appealed and reduced to a $100,000 fine.

Goldson's latest suspension was for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White on Sunday.

Walden's suspension, which was his first of the year, was for head-butting Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, who was not wearing a helmet when he received the blow.

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