Sources: Cedric Benson facing ban

Updated: September 23, 2011, 2:00 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Cincinnati Bengals running back Cedric Benson is facing a three-game suspension for player-conduct violations during the lockout, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Benson will have an appeal hearing Tuesday with the NFL to determine his fate, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton. There is no timetable for when Benson would serve the possible suspension if he loses the appeal. He is expected to be available for Sunday's game against the 49ers.

A source familiar with the situation believes Benson has a "strong case" to appeal the suspension. He will play this weekend against the San Francisco 49ers as no suspension is official until after appeal.

Benson has rushed for 180 yards through the first two weeks of the season despite having the issue weighing on him.

Benson was released from a Texas jail on Sept. 3 after serving five days to settle two misdemeanor assault cases.

He had pleaded no contest and was given a 20-day jail sentence that was reduced in part because he volunteered to mop floors and help paint crews. He also got credit for time served after his arrests.

The 28-year-old Benson was arrested in 2010 for allegedly punching a bar employee in Austin, an incident that earned him a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell but resulted in no punishment. He pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with injury in that case.

He also was arrested in July for allegedly punching a former roommate in downtown Austin. He pleaded no contest to a charge of assault with bodily injury with family violence, and that will be dismissed if he performs 30 hours of community service and pays an undisclosed amount of restitution to the victim.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and the Associated Press was used in this report.

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