Filed at 10:03 a.m.
Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh has been suspended two games for his Thanksgiving Day stomp of Evan Dietrich-Smith.
The suspension is without pay and contains no requirement that Suh obtain anger-management counseling after multiple on-the-field incidents and $42,500 in fines in less than two seasons in the league.
Additionally, the Lions are expected to fine Suh $25,000 — the maximum allowable under the collective bargaining agreement for an ejection — according to ESPN. The Lions will also have to pay a $50,000 fine because team members have accumulated over $100,000 this season.
At the recommendation of the NFL Players Association and Commissioner Roger Goodell, Suh will appeal the suspension, which will cost him $164,000, and NFL officials have indicated that an expedited hearing will be held this week. Former coach Art Shell, an appointed appeal officer paid by the NFL and NFLPA, will heal the appeal, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
Suh will not practice with the team or go to the team facility until a decision is made on his appeal. He would miss the Lions games against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and against Minnesota on Dec. 11.
“Everybody’s responsible for their actions and accountable for it,” Lions Coach Jim Schwartz said on WXYT-FM (via the Free Press). “The league has decided to suspend him two games. That’s something that we have to deal with, we have to live with, and we have to find a way to get past it.
“We’ll defend our players for everything they do from snap to whistle, and we want to be known as a tough, physical team that plays as hard as they possibly can. But anything that happens after the whistle ... we need to be accountable for it, we need to move on, and we need to get ready for the Saints.”
In Detroit’s loss to Green Bay on Thanksgiving, Suh was caught with Dietrich-Smith in a tangle of players and repeatedly smacked Dietrich-Smith’s head against the turf as he got to his feet and then stomped Dietrich-Smith on the arm. Dietrich-Smith was unhurt and Suh was ejected.
Immediately after the incident, Suh was unrepentent. On Friday night, after a conversation with his teammates, he posted an apology to his Facebook page. ESPN reports that Suh called Goodell on Sunday to offern an apology.
Other specific incidents considered in determining Suh’s punishment:
In August, Suh slammed Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton to the ground — by his head — in a preseason game and was fined $20,000.
In a 2010 preseason game, he did the same with Cleveland Browns QB Jake Delhomme and was fined $7,500; last December, he hit Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler on the back of the head with a forearm and was fined $15,000.
Earlier this season, he was accused by Atlanta Falcons players of talking trash to injured quarterback Matt Ryan and, in a Sporting News poll, was voted the league’s dirtiest player by his peers.
Suh is only the second player Goodell has suspended for more than one game for on-the-field acts. In a similar stomping incident, Goodell suspended Albert Haynesworth for five games in 2006, just months into Goodell’s tenure. Haynesworth, then with the Tennessee Titans, stomped the helmetless head of the Dallas Cowboys’ Andre Gurode, who required 30 stitches.
The NFL opted not to punish Schwartz or the Lions organization although some — most notably former coach Tony Dungy on “The Dan Patrick Show” — say both deserve blame as enablers. “I really have to fault the Detroit ogranization,” Dungy said. “I think they really could have stopped this.”
Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said of Suh in an ESPN interview: “I think there is some kind of problem that makes him react in a certain way.”
Is Suh dirty? Or is he misunderstood?
Remarks reconsidered: Suh expresses contrition