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The following is a list of players and coaches suspended by the National Football League (NFL). In the earliest known suspensions, players were banned for their role in gambling, but after Roger Goodell became commissioner, the league started cracking down on players performing violent hits, as well as violating the league's player conduct and substance policy, with 9 players being suspended in 2010; 8 of them were suspended for steroid use, and one was suspended for violating the personal conduct policy (Ben Roethlisberger).[1] In 2011, the league issued a memo stating that faking injuries can also lead to suspensions.[2] After the 2011 season was over, Goodell handed down one of the most severe suspensions in league history when he suspended eight New Orleans Saints players and coaches (four players, four coaches) for their involvement in the Saints bounty program.[3][4][5]

Player suspensionsEdit

(*-Team suspension)

Date(s) suspended Suspension length Name Position Team at the time of suspension Reason Reference
1947 Lifea Frank Filchock
Merle Hapes
QBb
RB
New York Giants Fixing the 1946 NFL Championship Game [6]
1963 Entire season Alex Karras
Paul Hornung
DT
HBc
Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers
Betting on NFL games [6]
1983
1987
Entire season (1983)
Life (1987)
Art Schlichter QB Baltimore Colts (1983)
Buffalo Bills (1987)
Gambling [7][8]
1985
1987
1989 (pre-Super Bowl XXIII)
Entire season (1985/1989)
Life (1989)
Stanley Wilson RB Cincinnati Bengals Use of cocaine [9]
1986 2 games Charles Martin DE Green Bay Packers Body-slamming Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon [10]
October 2, 2006 5 games Albert Haynesworth DT Tennessee Titans Stomping of Dallas Cowboys lineman Andre Gurode [11]
April 10, 2007 Entire 2007 season Adam "Pacman" Jones CB Tennessee Titans Attacking a stripper and threatening a security guard's life [12]
April 2007 8 games Chris Henry WR Cincinnati Bengals Violating the league's player conduct policy [13]
June 4, 2007 8 games Terry "Tank" Johnson DT Chicago Bears Alleged possession of six firearms and violation of probation on other charges [14]
August 24, 2007 – July 27, 2009 2 gamesd Michael Vick QB Atlanta Falcons Involvement in dog fighting case [15]
October 14, 2008 Indefinite
(ultimately was the minimum of 4 games)
Adam "Pacman" Jones CB Dallas Cowboys Involvement in an altercation with a bodyguard [16]
November 18, 2008 1 game Kellen Winslow* TE Cleveland Browns Detrimental conduct [17]
December 8, 2008 4 games (remainder of 2008 season) Plaxico Burress* WR New York Giants Accidental shooting of leg with firearm [18]
August 13, 2009 Entire 2009 season Donte Stallworth WR Cleveland Browns Crashed into a pedestrian while DUI [19]
September 23, 2009 Until release from prison Plaxico Burress WR Free Agent (formerly with New York Giants) Aforementioned accidental shooting [20]
April 21, 2010 6 games
(later reduced to 4 games)
Ben Roethlisberger QB Pittsburgh Steelers Sexual assault of a woman in Milledgeville, Georgia [1]
July 1, 2010 3 games Vincent Jackson WR San Diego Chargers Violating the league's player conduct policy [21]
December 7, 2010 4 games Albert Haynesworth* DT Washington Redskins Detrimental conduct [22]
2011 5 games Terrelle Pryor QB Oakland Raiders Involvement in Ohio State scandal [23]
2011 3 games Cedric Benson HB Cincinnati Bengals Misdemeanor assault [24]
November 29 – December 11, 2011 2 games (Week 13 and 14) Ndamukong Suh DT Detroit Lions Stomping of Green Bay Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith [25]
December 13, 2011 1 game
(Week 15)
James Harrison LB Pittsburgh Steelers Violent tackle on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy [26]
May 2, 2012 Entire 2012 season
8 games
4 games
3 games
Jonathan Vilma
Anthony Hargrove
Will Smith
Scott Fujita
LB
LB
DT
DE
New Orleans Saints Involvement in bounty programe [3]
August 20, 2012 3 games Aaron Berry CB Free Agent (formerly with Detroit Lions) Two arrests during the 2012 offseason [27]
August 30, 2012 1 game Kenny Britt WR Tennessee Titans Various incidents involving police [28]
September 25, 2012 1 game Joe Mays LB Denver Broncos Hit on Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub [29]

Suspensions for violating the substance policyEdit

After Goodell stepped up as commissioner in 2006, over ten players have been suspended by the league for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, with Pro Bowler Shawne Merriman's suspension creating the "Merriman Rule", preventing player who tested positive for PEDs from playing in the Pro Bowl.[30]

Date(s) suspended Suspension length Name Position Team at the time of suspension Reference
1998 4 games Bob Sapp OG Minnesota Vikings [31]
1999 4 games Jim Miller QB Chicago Bears [32]
2002 2 games Ray Buchanan CB Atlanta Falcons [31]
2006 4 games Todd Sauerbrun P Denver Broncos [31]
October 18, 2006 4 games Shayn Rogers DT Detroit Lions [31]
October 22, 2006 4 games Shawne Merriman LB San Diego Chargers [33]
December 5, 2006 4 games Hollis Thomas DT New Orleans Saints [34]
April 2007 8 games Chris Henry WR Cincinnati Bengals [13]
August 3, 2007 4 games Ryan Tucker OT Cleveland Browns [31]
November 3, 2007 4 games Chris Henry RB Tennessee Titans [35]
2008 4 games Luke Petitgout OT Tampa Bay Buccaneers [31]
2009 4 games Tanard Jackson FS Tampa Bay Buccaneers [36]
September 30, 2009 4 games David Vobora LB St. Louis Rams [37]
December 24, 2009 4 games Luke Lawton FB Oakland Raiders [38]
May 7, 2010 4 games Brian Cushing LB Houston Texans [39]
June 14, 2010 4 games Gerald McRath LB Tennessee Titans [40]
July 2, 2010
July 16, 2010
4 games
1 game
LenDale White
Leroy Hill
RB
LB
Seattle Seahawks [41][42]
September 4, 2010 4 games Shawn Nelson TE Buffalo Bills [43]
September 22, 2010 Indefinitef Tanard Jackson FS Tampa Bay Buccaneers [36]
2010 4 games Santonio Holmes WR New York Jets [44]
2010 2 games Cary Williams CB Baltimore Ravens [45]
August 2, 2011 4 games Phillip Buchanon CB Washington Redskins [46]
2011 2 games Kevin Williams
Will Smith
DT Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints
[47]
September 9, 2011 1 game David Reed WR Baltimore Ravens [48]
2012 4 games
(later changed to 3 games)
Brett Hartmann P Houston Texans [49]
June 13, 2012 2 games Mikel Leshoure RB Detroit Lions [50]
July 2, 2012 4 games Brody Eldridge TE St. Louis Rams [51]
July 20, 2012 1 game Nate Collins DT Chicago Bears [52]
August 20, 2012 1 game Tamba Hali LB Kansas City Chiefs [53]
August 31, 2012 Indefinitef Tanard Jackson FS Washington Redskins [54]
September 10, 2012 4 games Joe Haden CB Cleveland Browns [55]
September 18, 2012 3 games Clark Haggans LB San Francisco 49ers [56]
October 13, 2012 4 games Aqib Talib CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers [57]
October 28, 2012 4 games Eric Wright CB Tampa Bay Buccaneers [58]
November 9, 2012 4 games Brandon Bolden RB New England Patriots [59]
November 26, 2012 4 games Jermaine Cunningham DE New England Patriots
December 5, 2012 4 games Brandon Browner CB Seattle Seahawks [60]

Coach suspensionsEdit

(*-Team suspension)

Date(s) suspended Suspension length Name Position Team at the time of suspension Reason Reference
1978 1 game Chuck Fairbanks* Head coach New England Patriots Breaching a contract with the Patriots by joining Colorado [61]
September 1, 2007 5 games Wade Wilson Quarterbacks coach Dallas Cowboys Purchasing and using performance-enhancing drugs [62]
2010 30 days Travis Jones Defensive line coach New Orleans Saints Involvement in a real estate scam [63]
December 13, 2010 Indefinite Sal Alosi* Head strength and conditioning coach New York Jets Tripping Miami Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll [64]
September 9, 2011 2 games Andy Moeller Offensive line coach Baltimore Ravens Driving under the influence [65]
March 21, 2012 Indefinite
Enitire 2012 season
8 games
6 games
Gregg Williams
Sean Payton
Mickey Loomis
Joe Vitt
Defensive coordinator
Head coach
General manager
Assistant head coach/Linebackers coachg
New Orleans Saintsh Involvement in bounty program [4][5]

NotesEdit

  • ^a Filchock was reinstated in 1950, Hapes was reinstated in 1954
  • ^b Filchock also played as a running back
  • ^c Hornung also played as a safety and placekicker
  • ^d Vick was cleared to play in the final two preseason games
  • ^e The suspensions were later overturned[66]
  • ^f Jackson will be eligible for reinstatement on August 31, 2013[54]
  • ^g Vitt became the interim head coach in place of Payton, but due to his suspension, Vitt will be replaced by offensive line coach Aaron Kromer until his suspension ends[67]
  • ^h Williams was originally going to be the defensive coordinator for the Rams[68][69]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. "NFL threatens fines, suspensions for faking injuries – ESPN". Espn.go.com. September 22, 2011. http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7000274/nfl-threatens-fines-suspensions-faking-injuries. Retrieved 2012-07-21.
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  4. 4.0 4.1 "NFL bans Saints' Payton a year for 'bounties'; Williams out, too". NFL.com. March 21, 2012. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d827c0dd9/article/nfl-suspends-saints-coach-payton-for-one-year-without-pay?module=HP11_breaking_news. Retrieved 2012-07-19.
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