The news has not been pleasant for the Cincinnati Bengals on the field or off during the last week. First, they were beaten by the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The Broncos were so short-handed that they even lined up Tim Tebow as a wide receiver. To further complicate the situation at wideout, Jerome Simpson received a package -- that was being tracked by California police -- containing 2.5 pounds of marijuana at his home while offensive tackle Anthony Collins was a guest. And, now, running back Cedric Benson is reportedly facing a three-game suspension for his actions during the lockout.
Benson's suspension was first reported by Mike Silver at Yahoo! but has since been confirmed by numerous other NFL reporters. ESPN's John Clayton reports that Benson is set to appeal this suspension issued by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday.
Having served jail time this summer relating to misdemeanor assault cases in Texas, Benson has found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons ever since the Chicago Bears drafted him out of the University of Texas with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft.
He will be permitted to play in the Bengals' Week 3 game and ESPN's Adam Schefter quoted sources close to the situation as being confident that Benson has a "strong case" in his appeal of the ban.
If Benson does face disciplinary action for misconduct during the lockout, then it will represent an even greater expansion of Goodell's authority. As CBS Sports' Ryan Wilson points out, this would be the first case of a player being suspended or fined for behavior during the lockout.
When Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt appeared to be facing possible NFL punishment for his offseason misdeeds, Silver previously explored the issue of holding players accountable to the personal conduct policy during the lockout -- when they were not technically employees. He, rightfully, considers it something that "defies logic."
As NBA players like Marcus Camby have run afoul of the law during the NBA's lockout it has been mentioned in each case that they are not subject to league bylaws regarding substance abuse or conduct while the lockout is in effect.
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