Ndamukong Suh was suspended for the Lions’ second playoff game in 15 years for stepping on Aaron Rodgers during Week 17. Rodgers was lying on the ground when Suh’s momentum carried him backwards and onto Rodgers’ leg. In real time, Suh appeared to inadvertently step on Rodgers leg with one foot and again with his other, more weight being put on the second step. Here’s how the NFL justified the suspension in their release on Monday:
“[Suh] 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 [his] left foot, clearly could have been avoided.” Hanks further noted “[Suh] unnecessarily stepped on [his] opponent’s unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself.”
How is one who has lost his balance and accidentally contacts another player who is lying on the ground supposed to respond? Specifically, how is a 300-pound defensive tackle supposed to respond? Ballerina leap? Quick apology? 10 Hail Marys?
Yes, interesting that the NFL did not cite Suh’s priors in their release like they did with Dominic Raiola last week when Raiola was suspended a less significant regular season game for a far and away more egregious act, an actual stomp of a player’s ankle which resulted in an injury.
That makes the suspension even more bizarre, because the NFL is leading Suh and readers of the release to believe that the suspension is based on this incident itself. That would mean that this play on its own was deserving of a one-game playoff suspension and Raiola’s stomp ON TOP of his long history of player safety infractions was worth the same penalty, one game, but merely a regular season game.
In another light, the NFL is suggesting that if another player stepped on a player in the same manner Suh stepped on Rodgers, they would have been suspended, too.
100 percent NO. I don’t buy that.
I’m with Mike Pereira — it’s piling on Suh.
This play didn’t deserve the froth of the Rodgers-loving Joe Buck and the subsequent NFL review that served to appease the masses nodding and tweeting like brainless puppets in agreement with every lazy commentary they hear on national TV. It certainly didn’t deserve a suspension, especially for a playoff game.
Suh will (and should win an) appeal.