Ndamukong Suh wins appeal, will play against Cowboys in playoffs
Ndamukong Suh will be fined for stepping on Aaron Rodgers’ ankle and will be available to play in the playoffs.
Ndamukong Suh has won his appeal of a one-game suspension by the NFL and will be available for the Detroit Lions‘ playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Suh was suspended for stepping on the ankle of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 17. According to Schefter, Suh will be fined $70,000 for the incident against Green Bay.
The play occurred in the second half of Sunday’s game after Rodgers had completed a pass to teammate Jordy Nelson. Rodgers ended up on the ground after the pass, at which time Suh stepped on the quarterback’s left ankle with his right foot and then his left foot. Suh’s second step (with his left foot) was viewed as the more controversial of the two, because it appeared as though it might have been intentional.
At least, that’s how the NFL viewed it, as NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks explained in the league’s decision to suspend Suh:
“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.” Hanks further noted “you unnecessarily stepped on your opponent’s unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself.”
The NFL added that Suh put Rodgers at an unnecessary risk to be injured.
Suh declared his intentions to appeal the suspension at the time of the announcement and has subsequently won that appeal. Instead of missing the game, he will be required to pay a substantial fine.
Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy called the play ridiculous, while Rodgers merely said he thought Suh would deny it was intentional. Suh didn’t speak to media after the game.
Suh has a reputation for plays like this, including an ejection from a game in 2011 for stomping on an opponent’s arm.