ALLEN PARK, MICH. (AP) - Ndamukong Suh’s reputation for being a nasty player was born as an NFL rookie.
Suh slammed two quarterbacks to the ground by grabbing their helmets two years ago, and his image became even more notorious last season when he infamously stomped on an opponent.
Just when the Detroit Lions defensive tackle started to improve his ability to play the game cleanly this season, he had a setback.
But if you think he’s contrite, guess again.
The NFL fined Suh $30,000 on Wednesday for unnecessary roughness because he kicked Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub in the groin area. The previous day, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn’t suspend him because it couldn’t reach a judgment on his intent.
Schaub shouldn’t hold his breath waiting to hear Suh say he’s sorry.
“I was dragged to the ground,” Suh said. “A lot of things happen to me.
“It’s part of the game.”
Suh was on his chest after being taken down by an offensive lineman when his left cleat hit Schaub below the belt in Detroit’s loss to Houston last Thursday.
“I just thought it was very Suh-like to give a little extension there at the end,” Texans linebacker Connor Barwin said.
For the first time, Suh tried to explain what happened.
“It’s a crazy play, it’s one that unfortunately happened,” he said. “I didn’t even realize it until the end of the game, when I see my Twitter feed, I see my friends telling me about it. Other than that, I can’t do much more about it. I was being dragged to the ground and my foot inadvertently hit the man.
“But it’s over with and I am moving forward and getting ready to play the Colts.”
Detroit (4-7) will have Suh on the field when it hosts Indianapolis (7-4) because he dodged another suspension from the NFL. His reputation, though, has taken another hit.
“Certainly the perception in the NFL is he’s a very dirty player,” Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas said. “The perception among players is that he’s not very well liked. The perception among the fans is starting to be the same.