Monday, December 29, 2014

Life ain't easy for a guy named Suh (UPDATE: Suh wins appeal)

It's a distinct possibility Ndamukong Suh has played his last game in a Detroit Lions uniform as he has been suspended for this Sunday's wildcard playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Suh's punishment comes a day after he stepped on the leg of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Suh "unnecessarily stepped on [the] opponent's unprotected leg as he lay on the ground unable to protect himself," according to a statement released by the NFL.

Suh is appealing the suspension, and his appeal will be heard by Ted Cottrell.

Lions center Dominic Raiola, who himself returned from a one-game suspension Monday, defended Suh's actions
(ed. - Of course he did).

"He was getting pushed back, you know," Raiola said. "... There's no way at that point in the game that he did something like that on purpose."

Perhaps that's the case, but someone with a history of (to be charitable) questionable on-field tactics is not going to receive the benefit of the doubt. Suh has either been fined and/or suspended nine times in his five-year career. Besides, if you watch the video, Suh just walked away from Rodgers after stepping on him as if nothing happened. Are we to believe that Suh wasn't even aware he was standing on a human body part?

This suspension is especially costly given that the Lions are the top ranked run defense in the NFL, thanks in large part to the interior line play of Suh. Detroit was going to need every bit of that stellar run defense against the NFL's second ranked rushing offense. Quite obviously, the Lions' task became that much more daunting.

With Suh being a free agent after the season, there's been rumblings all year that he was looking to move on from Detroit. Now with this latest incident of leaving his teammates in a tough spot, will the Lions' organization even make an attempt to re-sign him? And how much money has Suh cost himself on the open market with these continued disciplinary issues?

The Lions have won exactly one postseason game in the past 56 years. Breaking the bank for a player like Suh at the expense of maintaining a solid nucleus may not be the best course of action to exorcise those proverbial playoff demons.

UPDATE: Suh wins appeal, will play Sunday.


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