Colts linebacker Erik Walden’s head-butt and Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson’s helmet-to-helmet hit have earned one-game suspensions from the NFL.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks announced the punishments Monday.
Walden pulled off the helmet of Titans tight end Delanie Walker, then slammed his own helmet into Walker’s head during Indianapolis’ game against Tennessee on Thursday.
It was similar to what Texans defensive end Antonio Smith did in the preseason to Miami guard Richie Incognito, earning Smith a one-game ban in the regular season and for two exhibition games.
Walden was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct but not ejected from the Tennessee game.
Goldson was penalized for unnecessary roughness for his hit on a defenseless receiver, Roddy White, against Atlanta on Sunday.
It was Goldson’s third such violation this season. He was fined $30,000 for hitting a defenseless player in the head and neck area in Week 1, then was initially suspended for a game for a helmet-to-helmet hit in Week 2. That ban was changed to a $100,000 fine on appeal.
Both players have the right to appeal and are expected to do so.
Fan survives stadium fall
An unruly football fan who survived a fall from the top deck of Ralph Wilson Stadium onto a man below has been banned from the stadium and could face charges, officials said Monday.
Video from Sunday’s game between the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets shows the fan sliding down the 300 level railing in a seated position before flipping backward and plummeting about 30 feet to the 200 level.
He and the man he landed on were treated inside the stadium before being taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released, authorities said.
Bills President and Chief Executive Russ Brandon called the fallen fan’s behavior irresponsible and in violation of the fan code of conduct.
“This individual will not be permitted back into Ralph Wilson Stadium,” Brandon said in a statement.
Season ticket-holder Jeff Savidge, of Rochester, said play on the field had stopped for a television timeout when the falling fan suddenly landed across the neck and shoulders of a man across the aisle from him.
The man who fell got up and said he was OK but was stopped by security from leaving, Savidge said. Arriving emergency workers put a neck brace on him and carried him away on a chair stretcher, he said.
A security officer, meanwhile, held the head of the fan who was struck to keep him from moving as he sat upright in his seat awaiting medical attention, Savidge said. He was carried out on a backboard.
The Bills’ ban on the man sliding down the railing was supported by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who said the fan “has shown that he is a danger to himself and others.”
Packers keeping Tolzien
Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Scott Tolzien will remain the starting quarterback as Aaron Rodgers continues to recover from a broken collarbone.
McCarthy said Monday that Tolzien will start Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field, even though the coach said he had not yet spoken with the team’s medical personnel about where Rodgers stands with his injury.