NFL: Titans defender Griffin gets one-game ban for head hit

Tennessee Titans defensive back Michael Griffin was suspended one game without pay by the NFL on Monday for a repeat violation of safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck.

Griffin was penalized for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday's 23-19 victory over Oakland for delivering a blow to the head of a defenseless receiver, Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera.

It was the fourth such violation against Griffin since 2011 and the second this season.

Griffin, a 28-year-old safety, will miss Sunday's game at Indianapolis, when the Titans, one of six clubs level for the last American Conference playoff spot at 5-6, will face the AFC South division-rival Colts (7-4).

The Titans own a tie-breaker edge at the moment for the final playoff berth but with five games remaining are in a heated fight for one spot with the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Diego Chargers and defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.

A victory Sunday would pull Tennessee within a game of the Colts for the division lead with four games remaining.