Ndamukong Suh, defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions, is in the process of appealing the NFL’s decision to suspend him for one game when Ndamukong appeared to stomp twice on Aaron Rodger’s injured calf.
If Suh’s appeal doesn’t give him his desired outcome, this means Suh won’t be heading to Dallas with his team on Sunday to play in the wild-card playoff game against the Cowboys. Suh is also prohibited from attending team meetings and practices, watching practices, and attending press conferences while suspended.
While it isn’t unheard of for a suspension to be overturned, it isn’t exactly easy either. The good news for Suh is that he’s expected to appeal before Ted Cottrell, a hearing officer employed by the NFL and the players’ union who has overturned suspensions before.
On Monday it was announced that Ndamukong had been suspended for violating unnecessary roughness rules after he allegedly stomped on the injured calf of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers not once but twice. This incident with Suh, which many view as intentional rather than accidental, took place late in the last game of the regular season, where the Lions and the Packers were battling it out to become the champion of the NFC North.
Suh received a letter from the NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Merton Hanks, explaining the reasons behind his suspension.
Hanks wrote, “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.”
Jim Caldwell, the Lions coach, said the entire team was prepared for the possibility of Suh’s suspension. “One of the things, there’s an old adage that you prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Caldwell said. “I think you always have to do that in our business.”
According to NBC Sports, Ndamukong’s teammates have his back, adamantly stating his past behavior shouldn’t be factored in though he’s been ranked the “dirtiest player” several times. They’ve come together to defend Suh, saying they believe the step was accidental.
“We’re frustrated by the whole situation,” defensive end Darryl Tapp said. “Like I said, we don’t feel like it was intentional. We all know what kind of person Suh is. He hasn’t been in any kind of trouble this year, so just something we got to take it as it comes and move forward.”
However Suh’s past behavior may not factor in when Cottrell makes his decision regarding Suh’s appeal. From various sources, Ndamukong’s incident on Sunday may be the only situation analyzed.
This isn’t the first time Ndamukong Suh has stomped on a player for the Packers. Back in 2011, he stomped on the arm of offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith during the game on Thanksgiving.
Do you think Suh will win his appeal or will he miss out on Sunday’s game?
[Photo courtesy of Getty Images]