HOUSTON – Texans veteran middle linebacker Denzel Perryman’s three-game NFL suspension was lowered to two games upon appeal by disciplinary hearing officer James Thrash.
Perryman was suspended repeated violations of playing rules involving health and safety, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Perryman appealed the original disciplinary ruling.
Perryman’s appeal was heard Thursday afternoon by Thrash, a former NFL wide receiver jointly appointed by the league and the NFL Players Association.
The penalty Perryman received against the Cincinnati Bengals was a deciding factor in that decision, per the league.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 10 (a) which states that “it is a foul if a player lowers his head and makes forcible contact with his helmet against an opponent.”
This has been a major point of emphasis for the league.
“With 4:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, you were involved in a play that the league considers a serious violation of the playing rules,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Perryman. “You lowered your head and delivered a forcible blow to the shoulder and then the head/neck area of the receiver. You had unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided.”
Runyan cited other violations, including Perryman being fined for violating the same rule and having six violations with personal fouls in his career, which includes his time with the Las Vegas Raiders
“When players violate the rules intended to protect player safety on a repeated basis, and particularly when the violations carry with them a significant risk of injury to an opposing player, it is appropriate to impose substantially greater penalties,” Runyan wrote.
Perryman was fined $66,666 for an unnecessary roughness infraction against the Colts, with the financial punishment stemming from a fourth-quarter play.
When asked if that fine will be appealed, agent Ron Butler told KPRC 2: “ABSOLUTELY!”
Perryman was fined $55,000 last season while playing for the Las Vegas Raiders for an illegal hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. It was because of use of the helmet.
The high amount of the latest fine is because the NFL escalates fines based on previous run-ins with the league’s rulebook
Perryman will be suspended for games against Arizona and Denver and eligible to return to the Texans’ active roster for the Jaguars game.
Perryman is a former Pro Bowl selection. Teammates want the suspension rescinded or reduced as offensive guard Shaq Mason stated on social medial: ‘Free DP’
Aaron Wilson is a Texans and NFL reporter for KPRC 2 and click2houston.com