On Tuesday, the NFL announced that Houston Texans linebacker Denzel Perryman was suspended for three games for repeated violations of playing rules intended to protect the health and safety of players. Perryman’s suspension ended up not being as severe, as the suspension was reduced to two games.
NFL appeals officer James Thrash, who is jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, appointed the ruling (per ESPN).
The violations include Perryman’s illegal hit during the Texans’ Week 10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The play cited in the league’s announcement was a helmet-to-helmet hit on Bengals wide reducer Ja’Marr Chase in the fourth quarter. Perryman was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the time.
NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Perryman, explaining why the hit on Chase was a violation.
“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 wrote.
The letter continued, explaining why playing with safety in mind is important in the NFL.
“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.
Runyan said throughout Perryman’s his career, the linebacker has six violations of this kind. One occurred in the Texans’ Week 2 game against the Indianapolis Colts. He was fined for that illegal hit, violating the same rule as he did in Week 10.
Perryman is able to appeal the suspension, though it is not known at this time if he will. He would miss games against the Arizona Cardinals, Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos if the three-game suspension holds. He would be eligible to return to the active roster on Monday, Dec. 4 and would be able to play in the Texans’ Dec. 10 game at MetLife Stadium against the New York Jets.
Perryman has 41 tackles so far this season. Houston currently stands at 5-4.