Denzel Perryman of the Houston Texans has been suspended without pay for three games for repeated violations of playing rules intended to protect the health and safety of players, including during this Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
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.”
In a letter to Perryman, Runyan wrote:
“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. 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 noted that Perryman has had multiple offenses for personal fouls of this type – six violations – throughout his career, including in Week 2 against Indianapolis, when he was fined for a violation of the same rule.
“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 will be suspended for games against Arizona, Jacksonville, and Denver, and eligible to return to the Texans’ active roster on Monday, Dec. 4, following the team’s Dec. 3 game against the Broncos.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Perryman may appeal the suspension. Any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.