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Goldson's suspension reduced on appeal

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Buccaneers safety Dashon Goldson's one game suspension has been reduced to a $100,000 fine for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Darren Sproles of New Orleans.

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The NFL announced the decision Wednesday by Matt Birk, who handles appeals of discipline of on-field punishment for players for the league and NFL Players Association.

Goldson was suspended one game without pay Monday for flagrant and repeat violations of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players. This will allow him to play Sunday against New England.

He was penalized for unnecessary roughness in last week's game against New Orleans for the hit. It was Goldson's fifth violation for unnecessary roughness since 2011.

Birk upheld a $30,000 fine for another Goldson helmet-to-helmet hit in the opener against New York Jets tight end Jeff Cumberland.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said he had not yet seen Birk's decision, but noted that Goldson received a ``substantial fine'' that shows ``a violation of the rule has consequences.''

``Players are adapting to the rules and techniques,'' Goodell said, adding ``the culture doesn't change overnight.''

Goldson was an All-Pro last season with San Francisco, helping the 49ers reach the Super Bowl. He joined Tampa Bay as a free agent, signing a five-year, $41.25 million contract.

If the seventh-year pro's suspension had been upheld it would have cost Goldson $264,705 in salary.

The Bucs have committed a league-high 23 penalties for 220 yards in two games. They've been flagged for six personal fouls - five for helmet-to-helmet contact and the other for a late hit on Jets quarterback Geno Smith.

--

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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