New York (AFP) - Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended for two games by the National Football League on Monday for the hit he inflicted on Baltimore receiver Torrey Smith in a pre-season match.
The league banished Meriweather for a helmet-to-helmet blow delivered in the second quarter of Baltimore's 23-17 victory over the visiting Redskins on Saturday.
Meriweather was suspended for two games last year for a hit on Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, but had the ban reduced to a single game on appeal.
The league has also fined Meriweather five times for illegal hits to defenseless players.
Meriweather will miss Washington's first two games of the regular season, at Houston on September 7 and at home against Jacksonville on September 14.
He will also be banned from the team's training facility or from having any contact with team personnel, although Meriweather can appeal.
After the Baltimore game, Meriweather said he was aiming at Smith's chest and trying to hit him with his shoulder.