Less than a week after calling a players-only meeting in which he stressed the need to avoid silly penalties and was chosen a team captain, Ndamukong Suh cost the Detroit Lions a touchdown with an unnecessary penalty.
So much for the new Suh, who will face discipline from the NFL, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Suh’s offense, in the Lions’ season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, was taking out John Sullivan at the knee as the Lions’ DeAndre Levy was returning an interception of a Christian Ponder pass to the end zone. Sullivan was able to return after sitting out a few plays, but Suh’s past is likely to be a factor in any discipline, given that he has been fined, suspended and voted the league’s dirtiest player for ill-conceived hits and a notorious Thanksgiving Day stomp.
Minnesota’s Jared Allen said the block was “uncalled for.”
“[Y]ou can’t take a dude’s legs out from behind on an interception when he’s running down the field,” Allen said (via mlive.com). “To me, there’s just no room for that.
“It’s just, it’s sad to see because I got to know him a little bit and he’s really a decent dude. He plays hard, I like his style of play, but if you end a guy’s career like that? It’s just uncalled for.”
Suh, who once visited with league officials in New York about his style of play and what is and is not legal, defended his move.
“On that particular play, I’m looking to make a block,” Suh said. “I’m just throwing to make a block, and really cut him off so he doesn’t get a chance to get home. I spoke to him. We’re good.
“It wasn’t intended, by any means. I wasn’t going for his knee, and he knows that. We had a great conversation about it at halftime, and he understood. My aim point was his waist, to cut him off.”
Sullivan had bags on his knees after the game and wasn’t saying the Lions might tuck away for the teams’ next meeting. As it is, the Vikings are going to be remembering Reggie Bush and their 34-24 loss to the Lions.
“Having a play like that doesn’t feel good,” Sullivan said (via startribune.com). “But it was a penalty. It cost them 15 yards, and we’ll see what goes on from there.”