Detroit Lions  

 

Lions DT Suh appeals two-game suspension without pay

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Ndamukong Suh's stomp will cost him two games without pay. It might cost the Lions more than that.

The NFL suspended Detroit's All-Pro defensive tackle Tuesday for roughing up Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith in front of a national television audience during a Thanksgiving Day loss.

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Charles Woodson told
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Suh promptly appealed his suspension. If he doesn't win the appeal, he will miss Sunday night's game at New Orleans and a Dec. 11 home game against the Minnesota Vikings as the Lions desperately trying to keep pace in the NFC playoff race. He isn't scheduled to be reinstated until Dec. 12.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Suh's hearing will be with Art Shell, an appointed appeal officer who is paid by the league and NFL Players Association. As of late Tuesday, the hearing hadn't been scheduled, but the league has said it will expedite the process to give Suh and Lions an answer before Sunday's game.

Suh is barred from practice and the team's facility while suspended. Sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that Suh was urged by both the NFLPA and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to go through the appeal process in hopes of reduced discipline.

"As a player, you have to appeal it," said Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the team's union rep. "I'm sure the NFLPA will be on his side to make sure that he gets a fair hearing."

It might have hurt Suh's case when he sounded defiant during his postgame news conference, insisting he didn't intentionally step on his opponent. After the Lions criticized his conduct Friday, Suh issued an apology to his teammates, organization and fans -- not to Dietrich-Smith -- and reportedly put in a call to Goodell as well.

"I'll let him speak for himself when he gets that opportunity, but I've had a lot of conversations with him the last two days and I think he is in a different spot," Lions coach Jim Schwartz said Tuesday. "I think his No. 1 thing is, he didn't want to be a distraction for the team. He wanted the team to be able to focus on the Saints and he wants to be accountable for his actions."

Earlier this month, the 2010 Defensive Rookie of the Year requested a meeting with Goodell to discuss his play after he drew several penalties. Suh said he had a better understanding of the rules after that meeting.

"I think for sure he understands the position he put his team in and the position we are in right now," said Schwartz, who wouldn't comment on the length of the suspension or Suh's appeal. "He feels a tremendous sense of responsibility for that. There is an accountability for what we do on the field. He is well aware of that and feels a tremendous responsibility."

Suh already has been fined three times for roughing up quarterbacks and another time for unsportsmanlike conduct. He leads the league with nine personal fouls since 2010, according to STATS LLC.

The Lions will have a roster exception during Suh's suspension, meaning they can sign someone to replace him or bolster some other spot on the team.

» For more information on the NFL's disciplinary process, including a fine schedule for rules violations, click here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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