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Lions DT Suh says third-quarter ejection was unwarranted

  • By NFL.com
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Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is sorry for his third-quarter ejection for kicking Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith in the chest -- well, he's kind of sorry.

In an unrepentant and at times defiant postgame rant, Suh maintained that he did not intentionally kick the Packers' guard and declined to apologize to the offended party for his Thanksgiving Day tussle.

"What I did was remove myself from the situation the best way that I felt in me being held down in the situation that I was in," Suh explained following the Lions' 27-15 loss. "My intentions were not to kick anybody, as I did not. (I was) removing myself, as you see, I'm walking away from the situation. And with that I apologize to my teammates, and my fans and my coaches for putting myself to be in position to be misinterpreted and taken out of the game."

The altercation occurred after Suh was pulled to the ground by Dietrich-Smith following an Aaron Rodgers incompletion on third-and-goal. Suh could be seen on video repeatedly pushing Dietrich-Smith's head to the ground, and he then kicked the Packer as he was getting pulled from the pile.

An official immediately threw a flag, and Suh was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Suh said it was clear, from his perspective, that his actions were misinterpreted.

"I was on top of a guy being pulled down and trying to get up off the ground, which is why you see me pushing his helmet down," Suh said. "As I'm getting up, I'm getting pushed so I'm getting myself unbalanced. ... With that a lot of people are going to interpret it as or create their own storylines, ... but I know what I did, and the man upstairs knows what I did."

Suh added: "I understand in this world because of the type of player and type of person I am, all eyes are on me. So why would I do something to jeopardize myself, jeopardize my team, first and foremost? I don't do bad things. I have no intentions to hurt someone. If I want to hurt him, I'm going to hit his quarterback as I did throughout that game.

" ... If I see a guy stepping on somebody I feel like they're going to lean into it and forcefully step on that person or stand over that person. I'm going in the opposite direction to where he's at."

Suh did not say if he expected to receive a suspension or fine from the NFL, and Lions coach Jim Schwartz just said, "We're worried about losing this game" when asked if he thought Suh might be suspended.

In 2006, then-Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was suspended without pay for five games by the NFL for stomping on the face of Cowboys center Andre Gurode, who required 30 stitches following the incident. While Suh did not stomp on the exposed face of a player however, his fine and infraction history -- he has already been docked $42,000 this season -- likely won't be working in his favor when the NFL reviews the incident.

This latest incident certainly will give fodder to those who claim Suh is a dirty player. Lions running back Kevin Smith dodged the subject when asked by NFL Network's Albert Breer about Suh's not exactly golden reputation.

"The dirty player comment, I stay out of that," Smith said, "But we need him on the field -- that's the bottom line."

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