Arbitrator tough on Tiger-Cats' Simoni Lawrence, upholds suspension
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be without linebacker Simoni Lawrence for two games.
"Dangerous and reckless play must be disciplined, not simply for the sake of punishment, but to deter such play in the future," the league said in a statement. "We all need to take and support strong action to promote and protect player health and safety."
The decision was somewhat surprising. The expectation was the suspension would be reduced to just one game shortly after the CFL Players' Association announced it was grieving the original ban on Lawrence's behalf.
The CFL suspended Lawrence for two games after he hit quarterback Zach Collaros in the head during Hamilton's season-opening 23-17 home win over Saskatchewan on June 13. Lawrence received a 25-yard roughing-the-passer penalty on the play.
Team-high 23 tackles
The six-foot-one, 231-pound Lawrence is in his eighth CFL season, seventh with Hamilton. He's fifth overall in tackles with a team-high 23 as well as three sacks and two interceptions in five games with the Ticats, who are atop the East Division standings with a 4-1 record.
Hamilton is currently on a bye week. As a result of the arbitrator's decision, Lawrence will miss the Ticats' home game July 26 against Winnipeg and their Aug. 1 road contest versus Saskatchewan.
Lawrence will be eligible to return to the Ticats' lineup Aug. 10 when they host the B.C. Lions at Tim Hortons Field.
The CFL was pleased with the arbitrator's decision.