NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was given a five-game suspension – the longest for on-field behavior in NFL history – for stomping on Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode’s head and kicking him in the face Sunday.

The NFL said Monday that Haynesworth was suspended for flagrant unnecessary roughness.

The suspension, which is without pay, is effective immediately. Haynesworth will be eligible to return Nov. 19 for the Titans’ game at Philadelphia.

“There is absolutely no place in the game, or anywhere else, for the inexcusable action that occurred in yesterday’s Titans-Cowboys game,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said.

Haynesworth was penalized and ejected from the game early in the third quarter after stomped on Gurode’s head, causing his helmet to pop off, then kicking him again following a 5-yard touchdown run by Julius Jones of the Cowboys.

Gurode received stitches above his forehead and beneath his eye.

“What I did out there was disgusting,” Haynesworth said Sunday.

“It doesn’t matter what the league does to me. The way I feel right now, you just can’t describe it.”

Titans coach Jeff Fisher said Haynesworth’s actions were unacceptable.

“I felt there needed to be some serious action taken from a discipline standpoint, and I believe that what the league has done right now is adequate,” Fisher said.

Jones had just scored on a 5-yard run, putting Dallas up 20-6 in what wound up as a 45-14 victory. Gurode said they hadn’t been talking or having any exchanges that led to Haynesworth kicking him twice.

“In all my years of football, this has never happened to me. I’ve never been kicked in the face like this, and I’ve never seen anybody kick nobody else in the face,” Gurode said.

Before Monday, the longest suspension for on-field behavior was two games for Green Bay defensive lineman Charles Martin for throwing Chicago quarterback Jim McMahon to the ground during a game on Nov. 23, 1986. McMahon landed on his shoulder.

It’s the first suspension since 2002 Rodney Harrison, then with San Diego, was suspended one game for hitting Oakland’s Jerry Rice with his helmet. Earlier that season, Denver’s Kenoy Kennedy was suspended for a game for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Chris Chambers of Miami.

AP-ES-10-02-06 1715EDT



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