“That’s bothering,” Jackson said. “He’s a great player and that play, I don’t think that was intentional. That’s going to be a big time loss for us.”
In the NFL’s announcement of the suspension, it was noted that Meriweather had been punished for six times for violating player safety rules. Indeed, last season the 30-year-old was fined for one helmet-to-helmet hit and banned for another.
Merwieather has said that he’s trying to lower his target and eliminate the illegal hits that continue to get him in trouble with the league. Jackson, meantime, acknowledged that it’s very difficult for a player to change the way he's always played the game.
“It’s hard to really play within the rules and do certain things when you’ve been playing football so long, and you’ve been doing it a certain way,” Jackson said at the Manassas Boys and Girls Club, where he handed out 250 backpacks stuffed with school supplies. “It’s an unfortunate situation. If it was intentional and he tried to do that, but at that moment in time, I don’t think he could have really done anything else [except] finish the play the way he did.”
Meriweather can appeal the league’s decision. If it’s upheld, he'll miss the regular season opener in Houston and the home opener against Jacksonville.
“That’s tough,” Jackson continued. “Hopefully he’ll be back soon to help us out.”
-- Tarik El-Bashir, CSNWashington.com