It takes a whole lot of something or other to taunt a star quarterback when he’s lying on the field in pain after his leg has been bent in a way that defies all laws of nature.
That, according to the Atlanta Falcons, is exactly what Ndamukong Suh and Cliff Avril did Sunday in the Falcons’ 23-16 victory at Ford Field.
And you thought Handshakegate was poor behavior.
“I lost a whole lot of respect for 90 [Suh] today, and also 92 [Avril], the [stuff] they were doing when [quarterback] Matt [Ryan] got hurt,” Falcons wide receiver Roddy White said (via the Atlanta Journal Constitution).
“That was unacceptable. ... Like 92 was kicking his feet, saying, ‘Get him off the field.’ We don't do stuff like that. We don't rally over guys when they get hurt. It was just inappropriate behavior.”
Particularly since Ryan initially appeared to have suffered a serious injury when offensive lineman Will Svitek stepped on his lower leg, bending it into an L.
“I had respect for Suh before the game,” Falcons center Todd McClure said. “But when Matt was on the ground, the things he was saying and the trash he was talking was definitely uncalled for. ... [He said], ‘Get the cart’ and several other things that I can't repeat.”
For his part, Ryan said he heard none of the alleged trash talk. Avril, taking some abuse from fans on Twitter, tweeted a denial later:
Tempers were running high even before the game began, when a couple dozen Falcons and Lions players began jawing at one another (via Mike Freeman of CBS Sports.com) and referees had to separate them.
Suh was fined for hits and said after Detroit lost to San Francisco last week that the description of his play has escalated from “dirty” to “nasty.”
“I’ve been called a dirty player. Now it’s nasty. Who cares? It means nothing to me,” he said, via mlive.com. “You’re either playing in the dirt or you’re not playing in the dirt. It’s pretty much the same thing. I don’t really care.”