The last thing the Detroit Lions wanted to hear this week was Ndamukong Suh suspended for the Lions vs Cowboys Wild Card Game. But the NFL is cracking down on overly aggressive behavior this season, and Suh has been involved in enough questionable plays that the NFL suspended him for twice stomping on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ leg.
After anchoring one of the best defenses in the league this year, Suh will now miss the Lions’ NFC Wild Card playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys. Of all the games to miss, the Cowboys vs Lions game is a potentially disastrous one for Suh to watch from the sidelines.
Suh’s suspensions follows some incredibly poor sportsmanship last Sunday against the Packers. Twice in the game, Suh slammed his foot down hard on the left of Rodgers. The All-Pro Rodgers had already entered the game with an injured leg, and Suh was clearly trying to aggravate the injury and knock him out of the game.
Though Suh feigned the move as an accident, his history of aggressive behavior and the clear camera shots of the incidents allowed the NFL to come down quickly on the defensive lineman.
NFL VP of Football Pperations Merton Hanks wrote a latter to Suh in which he said “You did not respond in the manner of someone who had lost his balance and accidentally contacted another player who was lying on the ground. This illegal contact, specifically the second step and push off with your left foot, clearly could have been avoided.”
And with that, the one-game ban hammer came down.
In his five professional seasons, Suh has been fined seven times and suspended once. Though Suh’s violent behavior doesn’t have specific patterns, his penchant for getting to the quarterback has led to some particularly nasty QB attacks.
For example, his deliberate stomping on Rodgers’ leg follows an incident in 2012 in which he kicked Houston Texans QB Matt Schaub in the groin. Suh also has a history with the Packers specifically. In a Thanksgiving game in 2011, Suh stomped on Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith.