Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Bengals running back Cedric Benson was notified by the NFL that he would be suspended for three games due to an assault that took place in Texas during the lockout. Benson has already pleaded out in the case and served his sentence during the interim between the final preseason game and the regular season opener.
Silver further reports that Benson has appealed the suspension and that his appeal will be heard next Tuesday. If there is no reduction or elimination of the suspension, Benson will be forced to sit for the games versus Buffalo, Jacksonville, and Indianapolis.
This report comes on the heels of last night's revelation that wide receiver Jerome Simpson has been implicated in a marijuana distribution investigation. Simpson was excused from practice today and head coach Marvin Lewis was non-committal regarding his status for Sunday's game against the 49ers.
Benson was charged with assault against a former roommate. He pleaded no contest in August and served a shortened sentence prior to the season beginning. To this point, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not handed down any punishments for players' misbehavior during the lockout. There have been no other reports of suspensions being handed down. It would seem rather odd that Benson's NFL penalty would be longer than that imposed by the state of Texas, but with Benson's history and Goodell's reputation for being hard-nosed on those who step afoul of the law, it's certainly possible.
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