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NFL suspends Lions DT Suh 2 games for stomp
ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - Ndamukong Suh’s stomp will cost him two games without pay. It may cost the Lions more than that.
Suh will miss Sunday night’s game at New Orleans and a Dec. 11 home game against Minnesota, with the Lions desperately trying to keep pace in the NFC. He won’t be reinstated until Dec. 12.
Suh called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Sunday to apologize, but it didn’t seem to help. Suh has three days to appeal the suspension and if he does, the league plans to expedite the hearing to make a decision before the Lions play the Saints.
“We respect the process the league undertook in order to arrive at this decision,” the Lions said in a statement before Tuesday afternoon’s practice. The team will have a roster exception during Suh’s suspension.
Suh can’t practice or be at the Lions’ practice facility for any reason during the suspension. Message seeking comment were left by The Associated Press with Suh’s agent.
Earlier this season, the reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year requested a meeting with Goodell to discuss his play after he drew several penalties. Suh said he had a better understanding of the rules after that meeting four weeks ago.
And yet he will be watching the Lions (7-4) scramble to keep up in the NFC wild-card race after what the league said was his fifth violation of on-field rules in his first two years in the NFL.
And everyone saw this one.
Suh lifted up his right knee and forcibly stepped on the right arm of Green Bay guard Evan Dietrich-Smith during the third quarter of the Lions’ 27-15 loss last Thursday. Before the stomp seen from coast to coast, Suh shoved Dietrich-Smith’s helmet toward the turf while separating himself from the Packers player on the ground.
Suh was ejected, but insisted during his postgame news conference that he didn’t intentionally step on his opponent. After the Lions criticized his conduct the next day, Suh issued an apology to his teammates, organization and fans _ not to Dietrich-Smith _ and some around the league said his after-the-whistle actions proved he was the NFL’s dirtiest player.
Suh has already been fined three times for roughing up quarterbacks and another time for unsportsmanlike conduct. He leads the league with nine personal fouls since 2010, according to STATS LLC — two more than teammate Cliff Avril and three more than Philadelphia’s Jason Babin, San Francisco’s Dashon Goldson and Denver’s D.J. Williams.
Suh grabbed Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton and threw him to the turf after he had gotten rid of the ball in a preseason game this year. He was docked twice last year for shoving Chicago’s Jay Cutler high in the back and for twisting Cleveland’s Jake Delhomme’s face mask and slamming him to the ground. He also was fined $5,000 during Week 9 in the 2010 season for unsportsmanlike conduct.
He has been able to absorb the fines, making $40 million guaranteed with a chance to get paid as much as $68 million in his five-year contract he signed after Detroit drafted the former Nebraska star No. 2 overall in 2010.
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