Football

Teammates wonder why Benson subject to league discipline

Cedric Benson appealed a three-game suspension and said he expects to play Sunday.
Cedric Benson appealed a three-game suspension and said he expects to play Sunday. AP

CINCINNATI — Cedric Benson is satisfied with his appeal hearing. Now it's a matter of waiting for the NFL to decide whether the Bengals running back should be suspended for an off-season arrest.

Benson's appeal of a proposed three-game suspension was heard Tuesday, with no decision by the league. He's available to play Sunday against the undefeated Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium. There are no guarantees after that.

The running back was glad to be done with it.

"The meeting was the most stressful thing for me," Benson said Wednesday. "I wanted that to go well and I felt it did. That's behind me now. We'll hope for no issues at all but if for some reason they want to bully the system and create an issue, then I've got to be receptive to that."

Benson has been the Bengals' leading rusher each of the past three seasons. Backup Bernard Scott has played sparingly this season, carrying eight times in the first three games.

Coach Marvin Lewis said he expects Benson to be available this week. "But we're prepared either way," Lewis said. "We've been on this thing."

The possibility that Benson and cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones could be suspended has miffed their teammates.

Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth — the team's union representative — is upset that eight players are facing discipline for incidents that happened during the NFL's lockout. Benson was a free agent during the lockout when he was arrested on a misdemeanor assault charge in Texas.

Benson served five days in a Texas jail before the start of the season to settle two misdemeanor assault cases from the past two years.

"I feel it's unfair," Whitworth said. "If I'd have been injured in the off-season during the lockout, they could cut me and have no repercussions.

"... I think we're going down muddy waters here. I'm either an employee of the NFL or not. I don't condone their actions, I don't condone what they've done, but they weren't employed."

Benson was surprised to find that his arrest last July could be used against him. After a new collective bargaining deal was approved, the NFL Players Association agreed that eight players could be disciplined for off-season incidents, while 25 others would not.

  Comments