It appears that the NFL is continuing to take a strong hand in punishing dirty plays on the field by Detroit Lions players.
One week after Lions center Dominic Raiola was suspended a game for stomping on the ankle of Bears lineman Ego Ferguson, another Lion has been banned for his team's upcoming game. This time, it's defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, and his suspension will be far more costly, as he will be out for the Lions' Wild-Card game against the Dallas Cowboys. Here's the report from ESPN's Ashoka Moore, citing Chris Mortensen:
Big news from @mortreport: Lions DT Ndamukong Suh has been suspended 1 game by the NFL for stepping on Aaron Rogers yesterday.,— Ashoka Moore (@AshokaESPN) December 29, 2014
In case you've somehow missed it, take a quick look at the video of the step below:
Ndamukong Suh stepping on Aaron Rodgers: https://t.co/kGS9CN4jkA— Aron Yohannes (@AronYohannes) December 29, 2014
It seems clear that the NFL believed what most Packers fans did - that the second step, in which Suh puts all of his weight fully on his left foot and onto Rodgers' ankle, was an intentional act. In fact, this is confirmed in the press release put out moments ago by the NFL, which you can read in its entirety here. Here is an excerpt from the release:
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations MERTON HANKS. Hanks ruled that Suh engaged in a non-football act which placed his opponent, Rodgers, at unnecessary risk of injury – specifically the second step and push off, which could have been avoided.
Suh will undoubtedly appeal the suspension, and he has up to three days to do so. If it is upheld, it will be the second time that Suh will have been suspended for actions he took against a Packers player - he was suspended for two games in 2011 following a stomp on the leg of then-Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Detroit plays the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on Sunday, January 4th, at 3:40 PM Central.