On Sunday, the Tennessee Titans' Albert Haynesworth stomped on the head of the Dallas Cowboys' Andre Gurode, while Gurode was lying on the ground at the end of a play without his helmet. Gurode required 30 stitches and may press charges.
The NFL responded swiftly, suspending Haynesworth for five games. This is the longest suspension [for on-field conduct] in league history. Indeed, until now the league had not supsended a player for more than two games. Because players are not paid during suspensions, Haynesworth stands to lose approximately $500,000 for his conduct. This suspension was also the first significant disciplinary decision made since Roger Goodell assumed the post of NFL commissioner.
Haynesworth will not appeal the suspension, according to Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Nonetheless, the NFL Players Association indicated it may challenge the suspension. Fisher's respsonse seems more appropraite: This was a severe and unprecedented disciplinary action, but such is appropriate for such a severe case of unacceptable on-field conduct.
[Note: Post edited as indicated above to correct a minor error.]