The NFL has reviewed the Ndamukong Suh-Alfred Morris play in Sunday’s game between the Dolphins and Redskins and has determined it will not take disciplinary action against Suh for an incident in which it looked like the defensive tackle knocked off Morris’s helmet with a kick.
According to NFL spokesman Michael Signora, while “there was contact between the players, Suh’s action was not deemed a kick.”
Suh didn’t have a sack and was credited with only two tackles in his Dolphins debut after being signed to a six-year, $114 million contract in free agency.
“I’ve obviously played at FedEx Field before,” Suh said. “To me, obviously it’s great to be able to wear the uniform of the Miami Dolphins and we’ll just kind of go from there. For me, there was no jitters or nothing.”
Suh was involved in a pair of plays that drew the notice of some media members and other observers, given his history of being punished by the NFL for his on-field behavior. In addition to knocking off Morris’s helmet, he also twisted the helmet of Redskins right tackle Morgan Moses while Moses was blocking him during a play. Moses left the field after appearing to have been poked in the eye.
Suh said following the game that he did not recall either play.
“I tackled him plenty of times during the game,” he said of Morris. “So, no, I’m not really sure what you’re speaking of.”
Of the play involving Moses, Suh said: “I don’t know. The only guy that I saw got poked in the eye was my guy [Dolphins defensive end Derrick] Shelby.”
The Dolphins were far from dominant in their 17-10 win over the Redskins in their opener Sunday at FedEx Field. In a season of high hopes boosted by the offseason signing of defensive tackle Suh to a mega-deal, more was expected from the Dolphins in terms of style points.
But they weren’t complaining.
“It was great,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said afterward in the visitor’s locker room. “In a win, you don’t ever say happy or unhappy. You’re happy. You take it.”
Players echoed those sentiments.
“It’s tough to win a football game on the road in the NFL,” Suh said. “At the end of the day, if you get a win on the road, then you’re doing something good. We obviously want to play better than we did, have a better start, have a quicker start, faster start, things of that nature.”
Said second-year wide receiver Jarvis Landry: “It’s tough in the NFL to go on the road and win games. … I credit this whole team and this coaching staff for coming on the road and doing that.”
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 226 yards and a touchdown but Miami managed only 10 points on offense.
“We didn’t come out and execute well in the first half,” Tannehill said. “I don’t know how many plays we ran but it wasn’t very many. We had our chances. We got into third and short, fourth and short, and didn’t convert. Those are the ones you have to make count over the course of the game. But we fought through that.”
Landry had eight catches for 53 yards and made the game’s biggest play on special teams, returning a punt 69 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. He said he’d been told all week to be ready to return punts if needed, but wasn’t informed by special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi until “right before the game” that he indeed would have those duties.
“I had knowledge that I’ll have a slight role in special teams in the punt return game,” Landry said. “Coach Rizzi gave me the green light and I went out there and made a few plays.”
The Dolphins didn’t exactly resemble the AFC contender they hope to be. But they did emerge with a record of 1-0. And that, they said, is what mattered.
“I think everybody had great expectations,” Ross said in the locker room. “I think we played a little sloppy. But I think when [it’s] your first game, away — a win is a win, man. It’s a hard thing to do.”