CINCINNATI - Bengals running back Cedric Benson received a reduced one-game suspension from the NFL on Tuesday for his misdemeanor assault case settled before the season, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.
Benson originally received a three-game suspension for the incident, but appealed on grounds that he wasn't under contract with any NFL team when his latest arrest occurred. Benson's lawyer also argued that NFL players were locked out when Benson was arrested in Texas last July, so he wasn't subject to discipline from the league.
The league rejected his arguments, but reduced the penalty to a one-game suspension and a fine equaling one week's paycheck, said the person speaking on condition of anonymity because the league had not yet announced it. With the Bengals (4-2) heading into their bye, Benson would miss a game in Seattle on Oct. 30.
Benson leads the Bengals with 458 yards rushing. His 117 carries rank fourth in the NFL. Bernard Scott would become the top running back with Benson out. Scott has gotten more carries in recent games as the backup.
Before Benson's hearing on Sept. 27, the Bengals gave tryouts to running backs Larry Johnson and Clinton Portis, but didn't sign either of them.
Benson was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges in Texas in 2010. He met with commissioner Roger Goodell, who decided not to disciplined him but warned him to stay out of trouble. Benson was arrested for misdemeanor assault again in July.
Benson was surprised to find that his latest arrest would be used against him. After a new collective bargaining agreement was approved, the NFL Players Association agreed that eight players could be disciplined for offseason incidents, while 25 others would not. Bengals cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones also is among the eight facing discipline. Jones hasn't played this season because he's recovering from neck surgery, but could be activated following the bye week.