TAMPA — Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson could be back preparing with his team for this Sunday’s game at New England as soon as today.
Goldson was suspended Monday for one game by the NFL for flagrant and repeated helmet-to-helmet hits, but a league official told The Tampa Tribune that Goldson appealed the suspension and that the hearing was held Tuesday.
The official, who said a ruling would likely be made today, is not being named because he is not authorized to speak on the record about the case. Goldson’s plans were first reported by ESPN, which cited unnamed sources.
Neither Goldson nor his agent could be reached for comment on the issue Tuesday and Bucs officials did not comment on the matter.
Goldson was flagged for his second helmet-to-helmet hit on a defenseless player in as many games this past Sunday when he hit Saints running back Darren Sproles during the Bucs’ 16-14 loss to New Orleans at Raymond James Stadium.
Goldson, signed by Tampa Bay as a free agent from the San Francisco 49ers this offseason, has been flagged a league-leading 15 times since the start of the 2010 season for such violations. The league said that history played a factor in its decision to levy the suspension.
“You had an unobstructed path to your opponent (running back Darren Sproles),” NFL vice president of football operations Merton Hanks wrote in a letter to Goldson informing him of the suspension.
“It is clear that you lowered your head and unnecessarily rammed the left side of your helmet into the left side of your opponent’s head. You delivered a forceful blow with your helmet and made no attempt whatsoever to wrap up your opponent or make a conventional tackle on the play. This illegal contact clearly could have been avoided.”
Goldson was fined $30,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland during the Bucs season-opening loss at MetLife Stadium two weeks ago. His hit on Sproles could prove far more costly.
Goldson, a two-time Pro Bowler who signed a five-year, $41.25 million contract when joined the Bucs as part of their revamped backfield last March, will forfeit $264,705 in salary if the suspension is not rescinded.