On Tuesday, the appeal of Bengals running back Cedric Benson’s three-game suspension was heard. But with no ruling on the matter, Benson remains on track to play this weekend against the Bills.
“A player is not suspended until he has had an opportunity to file an appeal and for that appeal to be heard and adjudicated,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said this morning via email.
At this point, it’s not clear when a ruling will come.
“We have numerous objections to Cedric’s suspension and had the opportunity to express them today to the the NFL’s hearing officer, Harold Henderson,” Benson’s lawyer, David Cornwell, told PFT by email. “Mr. Henderson considered our evidence and arguments, but did not give an indication of when he will issue a ruling.”
The biggest question seems to be whether the NFL has the power to impose discipline against players for off-field conduct occurring during the lockout. In Benson’s case, the situation is complicated by the fact that he wasn’t even employed by an NFL team, since his prior contract with the Bengals had expired.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Bengals worked out Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis on Tuesday, in the event that Benson isn’t available at some point in the near future.