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NFL notes: Brandon Meriweather targets Brandon Marshall

Also says he will go after knees instead of head

After saying he’s going to ‘‘take people’s knees out’’ to avoid another suspension for hits to the head, Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather struck another blow — declaring that ‘‘people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league.’’

Meriweather’s comments were a retort referencing the checkered domestic violence past of Bears receiver Brandon Marshall, who last week suggested that players such as Meriweather should perhaps be ‘‘taken out of the game completely’’ to make the game safer.

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‘‘Everybody got their opinion,’’ Meriweather said Monday. ‘‘If he feel like, you know, I need to be kicked out of the league, I feel like people who beat their girlfriends should be kicked out of the league, too. You tell me who you'd rather have: Somebody who plays aggressive on the field or somebody who beat up their girlfriend?’’

Marshall’s career has occasionally been overshadowed by off-the-field troubles, including multiple arrests following confrontations with a girlfriend when he was playing for the Broncos. None of the arrests led to a conviction.

Marshall declined comment when approached by reporters in the Bears’ locker room. Shortly after Meriweather’s comments, he tweeted: ‘‘There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.’’

Monday was Meriweather’s first day back with the Redskins following a one-game suspension for multiple helmet-first hits against defenseless receivers, including two in the Redskins’ win over the Bears last week. One of the hits was against Marshall in the end zone on an incomplete pass in the fourth quarter.

Meriweather, who was fined for a helmet-first hit against the Packers this season, was initially suspended for two games by the NFL. He had the sanction cut in half after an appeal.

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Asked if he plans to change how he plays, Meriweather said: ‘‘I guess I’ve just got to take people’s knees out. I’d hate to end a guy’s career over a rule, but I guess it’s better [for something to happen to] other people than me getting suspended for longer.’’

‘‘You’ve just got to go low now,’’ he said. ‘‘You’ve got to end people’s career. You’ve got to tear people’s ACLs and mess up people’s knees now. You can’t hit ’em high anymore.’’

Asked for his reaction to Meriweather’s comments about aiming for the knees, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said: ‘‘I'm not sure if I would have used those choice of words.

‘‘Brandon knows that he’s got to go lower,’’ Shanahan said, ‘‘or he’s not going to be playing in the National Football League.”

Mitchell a target?

Panthers safety Mike Mitchell said he’s being ‘‘targeted’’ by commissioner Roger Goodell after receiving his fifth fine of the season from the NFL.

Mitchell was fined $7,875 last week by the league for taunting after he shoved Rams quarterback Sam Bradford out of bounds Oct. 20. Bradford suffered a season-ending knee injury on the play.

Mitchell wasn’t penalized for taunting in the game.

‘‘I'm being targeted because I play football physical, but I’m not out here cheap-shotting guys and doing dirty plays like I’ve seen people from Detroit do,’’ Mitchell said. ‘‘I'm not going to name names. But I’m not out here doing those things so why I’m getting fined, I really have no idea.’’

Mitchell went on to say that the fine money ‘‘goes right in Roger’s pockets — right in his pocket.’’

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Goodell does not make the decisions regarding on-field infractions. NFL policy states that money collected from player fines is donated through the NFL Foundation to various programs, including those to assist former players.

Keenum gets nod

Case Keenum will start at quarterback in place of a healthy Matt Schaub when the Texans host division foe Indianapolis on Sunday night. Coach Gary Kubiak announced the decision Monday and said he had decided before the bye weekend to give Keenum a second straight start as the Texans try to end a five-game losing streak. Who will line up behind Keenum is still in question. Starting running back Arian Foster (hamstring) worked only with the trainers Monday and Ben Tate (ribs) missed practice altogether . . . Viking coach Leslie Frazier declined to identify a starting quarterback for the Cowboys game. Christian Ponder started in a 44-31 loss to the Packers on Sunday because the recently acquired Josh Freeman had a concussion. The Vikings have changed starting quarterbacks, either because of injury, ineffectiveness, or both, five times in their last six games . . . Eagles quarterback Nick Foles took the ImPACT test, a first step toward returning from a concussion, but coach Chip Kelly didn’t have the results.

Bucs lose Williams

Tampa Bay’s struggling offense suffered another setback Monday: Receiver Mike Williams needs surgery to repair a hamstring injury and will miss the remainder of the season. The fourth-year pro who signed a six-year, $40.25 million contract in July, had 22 receptions for 216 yards and two touchdowns in six games. Tiquan Underwood likely will move into the starting lineup, and Williams’s absence figures to create more playing time for Chris Owusu, Eric Page, and Skye Dawson . . . Speedy return specialist Travis Benjamin, one of the Browns’ top playmakers, tore his anterior cruciate knee ligament in Sunday’s 23-17 loss at Kansas City and will miss the remainder of the season . . . Bills coach Doug Marrone said X-rays on Marquise Goodwin’s left elbow came back negative and that he and fellow receiver Stevie Johnson (hip flexor) would be limited when the Bills (3-5) return to practice Wednesday in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs (8-0) . . . Lions wide receiver Ryan Broyles has a ruptured Achilles’ tendon and will have surgery Tuesday . . . Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver apologized for making an obscene gesture directed at the officials and will be disciplined by the team. Tarver was caught on television gesturing toward the officials after a flag was thrown on cornerback Mike Jenkins for a hit to the head of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell in Sunday’s 21-18 win. The flag was eventually picked up. Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was fined $40,000 by the league in 2010 for a similar gesture.

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