We've had two important developments over in the legal department of the NFC North blog. Let's take them one at a time.
The NFL has suspended Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden one game for violating its personal conduct policy. This is how serious commissioner Roger Goodell is with his policy: Walden reached agreement on a deferred judgment in February on a disorderly-conduct charge stemming from a Thanksgiving night incident in Green Bay. He agreed to perform 50 hours of community service and will have the charge dismissed next year if he stays out of trouble.
Regardless of those terms, Walden will not be eligible for the Packers' Week 1 game against the San Francisco 49ers. Truth be told, Walden is not a lock to make the roster after the decision to draft USC linebacker Nick Perry, who is working with the first team this summer. Walden is said to be having a strong camp, but he would have to make the team in a special-teams role.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley had a hearing postponed from one of his two offseason arrests, likely pushing back the timetable for any NFL discipline. A hearing for the first arrest is now scheduled for Nov. 27, according to the Mobile Press-Register. A hearing for the second is currently scheduled for Aug. 14.
It's assumed, but not necessarily a fact, that Goodell would wait until after the judicial process to make a ruling on whether Fairley will miss any games. The longer the delay, the less likely of a chance that Fairley will be suspended in 2012.