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Dec 29, 2014 3:48 PM

Lions DT Suh suspended for playoff game

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) Ndamukong Suh is in trouble with the NFL again.

The Detroit defensive tackle was suspended for this Sunday's wild-card playoff game against Dallas for a violation of safety-related playing rules against Green Bay in the season finale.

The league announced Monday that Suh was suspended for stepping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' left leg twice, once with each foot. Suh also applied pressure and pushed off Rodgers' unprotected leg with his left foot, violating unnecessary roughness rules, the league said in a statement.

Suh, who will be reinstated next Monday, can appeal the suspension within three days. He can ask for an expedited appeal, which would be heard by Ted Cottrell, a hearing officer employed by the NFL and the players' union. No hearing is scheduled, but one could happen as soon as Tuesday.

Rodgers had an agitated look after the incident, and coach Mike McCarthy said after the game: "There's no place for that. I don't understand it, frankly."

On Monday, McCarthy backed off a bit, saying: "I was hoping this wouldn't go this way. That was a hell of a football game played yesterday, and that's what I really came here to talk about. I'm not here to talk about behavior (of) players on other teams."

Suh did not speak with reporters at the Lions practice facility.

Lions center Dominic Raiola, coming off his own one-game ban for a similar incident, was enraged by the suspension.

"The play ... he wasn't even looking at (Rodgers)." Raiola said. "He was getting pushed back a little bit. It was ridiculous what Fox did right after it. It was crazy, watching it. I couldn't even listen to those guys after he did it.

"There is no way, at that point in the game, that he did something like that on purpose. No way."

Added teammate Larry Warford: "It's part of what has been happening around here. Obviously, they're going to be stricter on us. That is just a fact of what happened a week before.

"They're obviously a lot stricter with our team," Warford continued, referring to the NFL. "It's something we have to fight through. A little adversity. We'll make it through."

Suh is a repeat offender with a long list of fines and one previous suspension, for two games in 2011 for stepping on the right arm of Packers lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith. Suh has been fined seven times in his career, but this is the first in 2014.

Suh was fined $100,000 for an illegal block on Vikings center John Sullivan in Week 1 of 2013 during an interception return. That was the largest fine in NFL history for on-field conduct, not counting suspensions.

The suspension was imposed by Merton Hanks, the NFL's vice president of football operations. Hanks ruled that Suh engaged in a non-football act which placed his opponent at unnecessary risk of injury.

In his letter to Suh, 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."

Hanks further noted "you unnecessarily stepped on your opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself."

Suh will not be permitted to attend team meetings and functions, attend or watch practices, appear at the club's facilities for any reason, or have contact with any club personnel except to arrange off-site medical treatment or rehabilitation.


AP Sports Writers Noah Trister and Genaro Armas and freelancer Andy Reid contributed to this story.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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