Cedric Benson, the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher, dodged a major hit when the league reduced its three-game suspension to a single game following an appeal.
The Cincinnati Bengals running back faced sanctions after two separate arrests for misdemeanor assault. He will miss the Oct. 30 game against Seattle.
A source confirmed on Tuesday that league authorities had shortened Benson’s suspension following a hearing on Sept. 27. The player’s representatives argued that when Benson was last arrested, in July, he wasn’t under contract with any team and the players were also locked out.
The source said that the league rejected those arguments but still reduced the suspension from three games to one.
Benson leads the Bengals (4-2) with 458 yards rushing this season. Prior to his appeal on Sept. 27, the Bengals held tryouts with veteran free agents Clinton Portis and Larry Johnson, but did not sign either back.
In 2010 Benson was arrested after a bar fight in Austin, Texas, and again this past summer for punching a friend in Austin. He served a short jail sentence before returning to the team.
Benson starred for the University of Texas and was drafted by the Chicago Bears as the fourth overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft. The Bears released him in 2008 after two DUI arrests that year.
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