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Scott Fujita Reinstated By The NFL, Eligible To Play Week 1

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita was among four players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal to win their appeal and have their suspensions lifted. The decision was handed down by an internal appeals panel, part of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and players' union, on Friday.

Fujita (previously suspended for 3 games), along with Jonathan Vilma (entire season), Anthony Hargrove (8 games) and Will Smith (4 games) are all eligible to play as early as Week 1 on Sunday.

Prior to today's ruling, Fujita had recently indicated that he was preparing to play in Week 1, when the Browns host the Philadelphia Eagles:

We're still waiting on a decision but I'm optimistic and preparing as if I'll be playing in the first game.

Albert Breer, a reporter with the NFL Network, noted that if commissioner Roger Goodell wants to continue with suspending the four players in this case, he must do so strictly on the grounds of injuring other players for pay. For now, Fujita and the others can take the field.

Stick with this StoryStream for more coverage of the vacated suspensions, and for more on the Browns, check out Dawgs By Nature.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.